Songs About Girls...And Other Mysteries
Sometimes the best (and healthiest) summer crushes are like power-pop songs: One day your heart's lodged in your thorax and you can barely keep it from escaping your throat, and the next afternoon you've moved on and can barely remember if the guy had a goatee. It doesn't matter: The dude was a 30-year-old know-it-all, his only drinking glasses were nabbed from bars, and his bathroom hasn't seen anything resembling Lysol since his mom cleaned the place before his last date in 2004. The songs by the four-piece Vestals are kind of like those fleeting crushes, only less dirty: They have all of the accoutrements of sugary goodness such us layers of strings, organ, piano, and Mellotron; plenty of summery ooh-aaah harmonies; and shimmery sing-alongs with chicks as the central theme. The band gives obvious nods to pop greats from the Raspberries to Rufus Wainwright to Freddie Mercury to Ben Folds Five. But while the album's best songs ("Motorcycles and Butterflies," "Before I Run") linger with you long after they're over, there are a handful of them that don't quite have the memorable hooks required to nab true power-pop devotees. After all, the best power-pop songs, like sweet crushes you can't shake, stay lodged in your head for days.