Nada Surf – Let Go

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Album Review by EDF

Nada Surf did not have it easy at the start. Signed to the Elektra label, the band recorded THE PROXIMITY EFFECT in 1998. When the powers that be told them to go back into the studio, as they did not hear a single, the band refused and they were dropped from the label. Who could blame Nada Surf for refusing their record label’s request as Elektra took months to listen to their album in the first place. Unperturbed by this, the band managed to get their songs’ copyright back from Elektra, even after the album was released in Europe to critical acclaim and decent sales. Nada Surf then set up their own label and released THE PROXIMITY EFFECT in 2000 and toured the album.

Now 2002 brings us LET GO with a few surprises. Starting with the acoustic BLIZZARD OF 77, “I know I have got a negative edge, that’s why I sharpen all the others a lot”. FRUIT FLY is a simple folk style tune about a bunch of flies hovering over decaying food. Nice one guys! BLONDE ON BLONDE is about listening away to the Bob Dylan song playing on the radio while “I’ve got no time I wanna lose, to people with something fake to prove”. The repetitive guitar melody reflects the sentiments of INSIDE OF LOVE “making out with people, I hardly know or like, I can’t believe what I do, late at night”.

HI-SPEED FIX is a driving melodic tune and has a right to become a single. NO QUICK FIX reminisces about missing someone “when you’re away, I sleep all day”. Another surprise on this album is KILLIAN’S RED, which is the darkest track on the album and is probably the best track as well even though the tone for the rest of the album is lighter. Not to out do themselves, Nada Surf then proceeds to attempt a song in French, the wonderful LA POUR CA. The last track is the slow reflective PAPER BOATS, “been thinking and drinking all over the town, must be gearing up for some kind of melt-down”. Clocking in at nearly seven minutes long, this track could easily go on much longer without boring the listener.

Nada Surf’s approach to their sound and songs are way ahead of most other guitar bands. While there might be comparisons to The Flaming Lips, Nada Surf can be both soft and loud when it suits them. The group are sure to be around for a while and this album can only get them noticed to a wider audience.

5 stars