Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Rational Academy - A Heart Against Your Own

The Rational Academy
A Heart Against Your Own
(03.2008, Someone Good)
Verdict = Delicate Lovesick Pop

The Rational Academy is bringing back the forlorn love and indie pop of my high school career in a big way on their debut, A Heart Against Your Own. For those awaiting what exactly that means as far as a critic, rest assured, it is a good thing. Beyond the pure pop nostalgia, The Rational Acedemy have created a seamless album that I can’t really penetrate with anything but appreciation. With both male and female vocals in the mix, the band sounds something like Death Cab For Cutie if they teamed with Maria Taylor in their heyday. The album flows wonderfully through the first three songs’ undeniably hook filled pleasantries before the album is split into two (there are only seven tracks total). “2004,” along with the two songs following it, extends the album a bit further than the first three sings did in both song length (particularly "Squid & Whale" which surpasses the 12 minute mark) and aesthetic. In the second half The Rational Academy becomes a bit dreamy in some spots, a bit fuzzier in others, but in the end they retain the same pop spirit that can be found on the album throughout. The capstone is album closer, “Airport Nation,” which may as well be a lost Death Cab B-side hearkening that band’s best moments in a short two minute foray. The album should really be kind of cringe worthy seeing as how we are not quite fully detached from that period when Tim Kasher and Ben Gibbard were successfully wearing their hearts on their sleeves, yet it is somehow endearing and as wonderful sounding as it would’ve been in Y2K. To put it another way (even this is going to sound dated now); if you couldn’t help but like The Postal Service, A Heart Against Your Own is an album for you.

-Mr. Thistle

The Rational Academy - "Deer"

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