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January 24, 2012 / jhsaeger

Tuesday’s Best: Nada Surf Shows a Bit of Indifference

   On the first great release week of 2012, the New York alternative rock trio Nada Surf marked their 20th year together with a fantastic record that will likely decorate many alt/indie sites’ end of the year lists.  Their seventh studio album, and first with original material since 2008, Nada Surf’s The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy is packed with astutely-used high harmony supported by exciting guitar and drum parts. 
     With ten tracks clocking in less than 40 minutes The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy is fairly consistent, as there is no great drop-off at any point in the record and is never in danger of losing the audience.  While not necessarily the best song on the record, “When I Was Young” will likely garner the most attention.  A slow-building crescendo, “When I Was Young” begins with a soft vocal/guitar combination before veering towards an epic-sounding climax that would fit in well towards the end of any set list. 
      The record begins with the chaotic drums of “Clear Eye Clouded Mind,” whose verse “with a clear eye/but a clouded mind/the stars are indifferent to astronomy/and all that we think we know” found its way to the record’s cover.  One of the best and catchiest songs on The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy comes relatively late on the album in the form of “Teenage Dreams,” where the lyrics are supported by some of the best musicianship on the record. 
       Recorded last spring in New York, Doug Gillard (Guided By Voices), Joe McGinty (Ryan Adams), and Louie Lino (matt pond Pa) were among the additional musicians to perform on the album.
     The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy is also available as a deluxe-edition CD with five bonus acoustic tracks, digital download, and vinyl. 
Other cool stuff that hits today: Craig Finn: Full Eyes, Various Artists: Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International, The Doors: L.A. Woman (40thAnniversary), U2: From The Sky Down (DVD) 

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