The Maroons – You’re Gonna Ruin Everything (In Music We Trust)

maroons-youre-going-to-ruinSimply one of the most fantastic pop records I’ve heard this year. The best aspect of the band’s music is the way the instruments are separated. Keyboards, bass, drums, and guitars can make for a noisy mix if too gratuitously applied, but The Maroons keep each separated and complementary thus avoiding a noisy mish-mash. The hooks of the songs are easy but never obvious. The vocals are rightly the focus of the mix and the tunes.

Throughout the record, a film of mid-90s Brit-pop fashion will cover the tunes. “Dance Floor Flirt” has a calm but euphoric chorus that is bolstered but never bothered by little chirpy figures played on the keyboard. It sounds like a less self-important Pulp. “Skipping the Introduction” bounces with the type of feigned Noel Coward-esque pomp that the Divine Comedy has pretty well stamped as their own, but again, The Maroons’ tasteful mix of instruments and non-obnoxious vocal assure that the pomp never trips up the pop.

“Ruin Everything” slips its facile hooks in through restrained guitar lines. Songs like “Limbo” and “Shipwrecked” are sometimes so fragile, you fear they’ll just collapse from a lack of meat on their bones, but somehow the melodic vocals manage to support the frail structure. “Lonely Summer”‘s absolutely perfect lyrics are the sort that can break your heart and put a smile on your face simultaneously.

In a year where pop hooks have rushed in by the dozen, The Maroons slipped under the door. The record carries an atmosphere of lazy, hot summer evenings but it will sound just as good this winter.

–TA