Saturday, February 9, 2013

First Listen: Fiction Family Reunion

The combination of Switchfoot's Jon Foreman and Nickel Creek's Sean Watkins may seem like a weird one, but it works far better than you'd expect. Fiction Family's wittily-titled second record is less immediate and less pop than their first, its songs slowly working its way into your brain. It opens weakly with "Avalon," but by the time the quick and splendid "Damaged" rolls around, the band is on all cylinders.

"God Badge" continues Foreman's one-man war against religious arrogance: "Put your God badge down and love someone." It's a sentiment this reviewer never tires of. Watkins gets to show his bluegrassy stuff on "Just Rob Me," and Foreman's world-weary voice works well on "Give Me Back My Girl." Once again, Fiction Family has proven that this strange alchemy can make gold.

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