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February 14, 2012 / jhsaeger

Tuesday’s Best: Tennis Serves Young & Old

   It wasn’t too long ago that husband-and-wife duo Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore sailed the Atlantic Ocean to find inspiration for their first album, Cape Dory. For their second record, however, it turns out that they only needed to look for help in Akron, Ohio. Riley and Moore, who record under the name Tennis, enlisted The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney to produce and mix their second record, Young & Old, which hit stores this Tuesday.
  Tennis is not unlike She & Him’s Zooey Deschanel/M. Ward combination as a twosome that capitalizes on a simple and poppy girl group sound. By bringing in Carney, Tennis has added a more dynamic sound that gives the record a greater diversity than the first. Carney cast an obvious, yet subtle, shadow over the record. The occasional fuzzy guitar sound and terrific rhythms that have helped the Black Keys leap a few slots in the musical pantheon exist on the background of Young & Old, although it is very clear that Alaina Moore remains the focal point of the group.
   Young & Old begins with “It All Feels The Same,” which flows alongside Moore’s tale of a character who is constantly told, “we’re imperfect but cannot be good” before the song is altered by a terrific guitar hook which escalates the mood of the track. Not to be overlooked, the fuzzy guitar parts of “Origins” faintly sniffs of the Black Key’s most recent record.
   Moore’s lyric writing did not shy from big concepts, as she frequently invokes bold verse that brings the songs to life. The best example comes on “Traveling,” where she sings, “Say it slow to be sure we know/across the Saccharine Plain/Cracked and Devoid of Rain/I think of life without pain.”
  To accentuate the Black Keys undertones in Young & Old, Michael Carney, the Grammy Award-winning artist and brother of Patrick Carney, created the album’s artwork. Carney, who is the brains behind the Black Keys’ novel art concepts, crafted the beautiful portrait of Moore that decorates the cover.
   Young & Old is available as a digital download, compact disc, and vinyl.

Other Cool Stuff That Hits This Week: Amos Lee: As The Crow Flies, The Villains: Velocity: Live At the Fillmore 1969, Heartless Bastards: Arrow

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