Singularity | Capitol
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  August 7, 2007
2.5 2.5 Stars
Hard-touring heavyweights on the Christian emo scene, Virginia Beach–based Mae play catchy, pretty pop-rock perfect for kids whose parents won’t let them wear their Death Cab for Cutie T-shirts to Sunday school. Singularity is the band’s major-label debut after two big-selling indie discs, and though it certainly bears the evidence of a slick, big-budget production job by Howard Benson (the bubblegrunge baron behind Daughtry), the album’s streamlined guitar roar and precision-geared melodic hooks aren’t a real departure for Mae — these guys have sounded like pros since they started. That’s no knock: like Billy Corgan back before he wanted to be in Pantera, frontman Dave Elkins has a knack for pairing whiny sensitive-dude vocals with twisty-turny riffs that never seem to stop unfolding. With its micro-managed licks-within-licks, opener “Brink of Disaster” could be an outtake from Siamese Dream, whereas the deliciously strummy “Just Let Go” is a “Tonight, Tonight” for melancholy MySpace mavens.

Mae + As Tall as Lions + Dear and the Headlights | Middle East Downstairs, 480 Mass Ave, Cambridge | August 15 | 617. 864.EAST

Related: Death Cab for Cutie and Franz Ferdinand, Phoenix/WFNX Best Music Poll 2008, WFNX's top 101 songs of the decade, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Billy Corgan, Death Cab for Cutie, Pantera,  More more >
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