Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Mood Elevator - Listen Up! - 2000

Falling squarely into the category of power pop bands that don't take themselves too seriously, the Mood Elevator crafted a jovial and lively debut album in Listen Up! In the course of 11 tracks, the band runs through a few rave-ups ("Leisure Time Provider," "Day of Renee") pure pop ("Butterfly Net"), ska -- sort of ("Cool Nights") -- and a ragtime-based piano rocker ("Better Than That.") For a debut, the diversity in songs is surprising and refreshing, as the album doesn't tire after a few listens. The downside, really, is that the lyrics are often too silly, detracting from the rest of the picture, and the hooks are not nearly as interesting as those written by their peers. Still, it's too easy to point out what's wrong with a pop album rather than what's right: And what's right here is that this band has managed to craft an engaging debut album that manages to be diverse and adventurous while still maintaining the band's pop roots. And that's more than most can really hope for anyway. -AMG