Tennis | Young & Old

Fat Possum (2012)
By RYAN REED  |  February 7, 2012
3.0 3.0 Stars

Denver's Tennis, the husband/wife duo of Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley, are back with another slab of dreamy, feather-light pop. Their first album, the (no pun intended) sleeper splash Cape Dory, was famously recorded at sea, crafted as a lovers' souvenir of a boating excursion. The songs were appropriately buoyant — drenched with pitch-and-yaw reverb, Riley's sun-drunk guitar, and Moore's mousey girl-group chirp — even if they had a shelf life shorter than a loaf of Wonderbread. For Young & Old, Moore and Riley shacked up with Black Keys drummer-producer Patrick Carney, aiming to tweak their sound. But for awhile, it's more of the same, as indicated by "It All Feels the Same," a direct sonic continuation of their debut: a windy wash of vocal harmonies and ultra-clean guitar lines. But elsewhere, they've beefed up their sugary twee with some actual fat. "Traveling" is dominated by squiggly, Wolf Parade-ish synth runs, and the doo-wop-styled "Origins" features an ass-load of gnarly bass. "Petition" is simply on another planet, Moore delivering her funkiest, most emotional vocals yet over a whizzing piano-drum-kit clatter. Tennis are still cute as a button, but now they have songs to go along with the smiles.

TENNIS | Brighton Music Hall, 158 Brighton Ave, Allston | March 2 @ 8 pm | $13 | 18+ | 617.779.0140

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