Aviette: The Way We Met

How long does it take you to tell the story of your most bitter, disheartening breakup? Everyone has their own "breakup of all breakups" and most of those stories are mind-numbingly boring after several minutes—and one-sided to boot. Aviette's lead singer Holly Muñoz explores hers in eight songs, none much longer than three and a half minutes, and keeps the listener hanging on for the entire, brutal rehash. The Way We Met offers up a mix of Metric's look-before-you-leap swagger and the New Pornographers' to-die-for hooks while Muñoz dissects the minutiae of a failed relationship. Painting vivid pictures of two people who hung onto each other for much longer than they needed to, the album begins with "Why Do We Stop?" in which Muñoz wonders how they will live without each other and, more importantly, why they have to ("Why do we stop what we want to start?/How do we break everything apart?"). By the end, though, she declares, "I quit you" ("I Quit You Win"). In between, she seems to conclude it wasn't all the other person's fault ("Say So"), comes to terms with the fact that it really shouldn't have continued ("The Last Day"), and deftly introduces herself as a newfound heir to Emily Haines without the stomach-churning self-aggrandizing. Employing Darren Jackson and his magic wand as producer (as well as guitarist/keyboardist) brings everything up a notch or two from the band's 2006 debut, Until We Hear From Dave. The new album is tighter, taking an adept, straightforward look at breakups and their inherent messiness, while also forcing listeners to reassess the state and possible future of their current relationship—should they be in one—a little more than they'd like. It's just 24 minutes long, but The Way We Met will keep you thinking for a lot longer than that.

 
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