Thao Nguyen and the Get Down Stay Down
We Brave Bee Stings and All
1.2008 Kill Rock Stars
Verdict: Super charming western infused pop.
Halloween, it's pretty cool. You dress up like Donatello, arm yourself with a pillowcase and get hoards of candy from strangers. That night you eat about three fourths of your candy, get sick and forget about the rest of it till you find the stash under your bed around Easter. And so it is with loads of sugary sweet pop music. It's so delightful that you overplay it than end up hating it and or forgetting about it. Thao Nguyen and the Get Down Stay Down play this type of sugary sweet pop music with a western flair. So it is to my surprise that I've been popping' this album down like a bag of peanut butter M&M's for a month now and there's not a tummy ache in site. Thao's sophomore album is full of catchy hooks, folk strums, banjo runs, and the occasional horn ensemble. Her song writing brings to mind an early Laura Veirs. However, to my ears Thao is far more consistent and far more rewarding. Lyrically, Thao tackles the feelings of becoming an adult while hanging on to the wonder of bright eyed youth. Crooning the lines "We brave bee stings and all, and we don't dive we cannonball, and we splash our eyes full of chemicals, just so there's none left for little girls." Occasionally these types of lyrics can seem a bit cheesy, but her voice is so captivating that it doesn't really matter. We Brave Bee Stings and All is the most pleasant surprise of the year thus far and the album is sure to find a secure spot on my year end list. It's super cute.
Thao Nguyen and the Get Down Stay Down - "Swimming Pools"