Love Is Simple
(09.2007, Young God)
Akron/Family has set a ridiculously high bar for themselves. In 2005 Akron/Family released their debut self-titled full length album; a beautiful blend of gorgeous outsider folk with light prog/electronic tendencies that instantly proved their ability to craft timeless songs. Shortly thereafter, in that same year, Akron/Family dropped what is for me the defining moment of their career so far: split full length with Michael Gira of Angels of Light. The seven songs that the band contributed to the first half of this split are flawless, careening through, possibly, the most imaginative and energetic set of songs I have ever heard. Akron/Family juggled so many different styles with such an imaginative reckless abandon and were so successful doing so that they instantly earned themselves a permanent spot in my heart and have become a band that I have continually watched since. 2006 saw the "not bad" release of Meek Warrior, an EP length disc that failed to approach the consistency or vision of the bands' previous releases, but still provided undeniable evidence of their talent. It is not hard to see why Love Is Simple, the true follow up to their debut and the possible realization of what they accomplished on their Angels of Light split, has been such an anticipated event for me. However, with anticipation comes the almost inevitable let down – whatever the degree. It has happened plenty this year with similarly adored musicians like Arcade Fire, Andrew Bird and Liars. Each produced albums that are well above the average but undeniably lesser accomplishments to the release that directly proceeded it, creating an unfortunate yet unavoidable slight let down. Oh Akron/Family, my sweet sweet Akron/Family, I’m sorry, I just can’t help but listen to Love Is Simple with the same disposition. It just has to be said. Beyond this point there is much to rejoice about in Akron/Family's most recent opus. Akron/Family has always had too many ideas for their own good and Love Is Simple is no different, scattering itself in all directions and exploring every possible option. Somehow, on Love Is Simple, Akron/Family has become even more rooted in the already evident hippie leanings of their past releases. For honest listeners this should be a refreshing and slightly humorous twist on the largely cynical lyrics of the most modern indie music. Love Is Simple is still one of the top albums of this year and is just as good an entry point to the bands gloriously indefinable musical aesthetic as anything. A must listen for every spectrum of the indie world. (oh yeah, and you get an excellent Akron/Family DVD to boot!)
Akron/Family - "Don't Be Afraid, You're Already Dead"