Not Conor. Lukas Taylor. Isaiah Russell. Scott Delamotte. Devon "Enlight". Purchasable with gift card. Fill In The Blank Vincent Destroyed By Hippie Powers Not Just What I Needed Unforgiving Girl She's Not An Cosmic Hero The Ballad of the Costa Concordia Joe Goes to School With Teens of Denial, his first real "studio" album with an actual band, Toledo moves from bedroom pop to something approaching classic-rock grandeur and huge if detailed and personal narrative ambitions, with nods to the Cars, Pavement, Jonathan Richman, Wire, and William Onyeabor.
By turns tender and caustic, empathetic and solipsistic, literary and vernacular, profound and profane, self-loathing and self-aggrandizing, he conjures a specifically 21st century mindset, a product of information overload, the loneliness it can foster, and the escape music can provide.
At the heart of the album sits the "Ballad of the Costa Concordia," which has more musical ideas than most whole albums and at that length, it uses them all.
Horns, keyboards, and elegant instrumental interludes set off art-garage moments; vivid vocal harmonies follow punk frenzy. The selfish captain of the capsized cruise liner in the Mediterranean in becomes a metaphor for struggles of the individual in society, as experienced by one hungover young man on the verge of adulthood.
Teens of Denial refracts Toledo's particular, personal story of one difficult year through cultural touchstones such as the biography of Frank Sinatra, the evolution of the Me Generation as seen in Mad Men and elsewhere, plus elements of eastern and western theology.
The whole thing flaunts a kind of conceptual, lyrical, and musical ambition that has been missing from far too much 21st-century music. The first kind is one one you find in books, canonized by time and a lifetime of expression.
Archived from the original on September 23, Retrieved May 25, Rolling Stone. Uncut : Retrieved July 8, American Songwriter. December 1, Retrieved December 1, Club's Top 50 Albums of ". December 12, Retrieved December 12, November 28, Retrieved November 28, November 24, Retrieved November 24, November 22, Retrieved November 22, Paste Magazine. November 30, Retrieved November 30, December 7, Retrieved December 7, December 13, Retrieved December 13, October 8, November 29, Retrieved November 29, Even with the bigger budget and brighter environs, Toledo's underriding DIY sensibility comes through.
You can hear it in the margin-scrawl messiness of his lyrics, which forego neat-and-tidy narratives for abstractions, like he's snatching flitting images that run through his brain. More important than this deft lyrical touch, though, is his ability to display it within a musically engaging song. Unlike some indie-rock songwriters, Toledo's lyrics don't just sit on the page.
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