Many into one

As pop-rock goes, this set is as good as I've heard in a long time. Lindsay does most of the work himself, and the laptop production is a sound that threw me for a while. Neither major label over-the-top nor crunchy indie garage, this slick, yet restrained, sound seems an odd choice for these bouncy songs.

Jon Lindsay
Cities & Schools
(File 13)
But after a while, I began to hear the advantages. For starters, Lindsay is a subtle musical craftsman. He leaves little pieces here and there--pieces that would be lost with a louder or rougher sound. And anyway, this is pop. And sometimes minimalist is just the ticket.

The songs themselves could have been lifted out of any era since the 80s. Toe tapping and tuneful, with just enough guitar crunch to leave a mark. Lindsay's sound is distinctly indistinct, and that leaves his songs as the stars. As the should be.

I imagine the sound is one born of necessity, but it seems to inform Lindsay's writing style. His lyrics some in snippets, leaving room for just the right amount of musical noodling. He is definitely influenced by 60s pop, both Brill Building and Paul Simon, but he grew up later. And so there are echoes of the Presidents, Fountains of Wayne, LCD Soundsystem, Joe Jackson and many more. All adding up to Jon Lindsay.

The deceptive strength of this album flows all the way through. Lindsay's polymathic ear serves him well. Sit back and let this one this you much harder than you expect.

Jon Worley

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