August 07, 2003

The Carolines "Youth Electronics"

I'm going to do something right now that I never do. I'm going to make a wager with you, dear readers, about the fate of The Carolines. In one year's time, the following things are going to happen to The Carolines. There's going to be an indie-rock bidding war for them. Many major independent labels--and some majors--are going to want to sign them, but only one will win. (The odds are with Merge, Polyvinyl, Parasol, and Tiger Style.) I'm thinking they'll stick with a major indie. After they sign to said major indie label, it will not be long before the majors come around, wanting to take them on, and though I don't think they'll sign (they seem smarter than that), I think they'll give it some serious consideration.

They'll also tour like hell, and after that first gruelling yet satisfying tour, they'll get an invitation from a large band to be an opening act. Upon doing this, their visibility will increase, and they'll become one of those "must-see" bands. The reception will convince the band to tour on their own yet again, which will be important. Their next on-their-own tour will prove to be much better for them; the word-of-mouth of this young Portland band will certainly propel them to a whole other level. Because of this, they'll really hone their skills, and write a whole new batch of songs that are even better than their utterly flawless debut full length, Youth Electronics.

Yeah, there's Youth Electronics to talk about. See, the reason all of these things happen is simple: they've made one of the most impressive albums that critics (like yours truly) have heard. It's a blend of pure pop, with enough of a rock edge to never be too sweet. Baroque pop meets Seventies rock? The Carolines should be--and are going to be--hailed for creating such a blend. Critics liked to make comparisons to Paul McCartney and Todd Rundgren, though others liked to point out that they have skills that also reminds you heavily of Superdrag, Superchunk circa Jim O'Rourke and/or Ben Folds, and that the worst song on the album (which is impossible for me to determine as they're all equally awesome) still sounds like the best song ever written by Ken Stringfellow on a bad day. As this critic would like to point out, the only thing that could make this album better would be a horn section, but I have this feeling that it's only a matter of time before they get one--making their already rich sound and ultra-tight harmonies even better. (Then again, you really cannot go wrong with a Wurlitzer and a Rhodes, can you?)

It's an exciting time to be in The Carolines. Big things are expected to happen over the next year, and for good reason--they deserve it. They sound great, and have made one of the best summertime records since I don't know when. I'll wager you that these things will come true within the next year, and, to be honest, it couldn't possibly happen to a better, nicer band. In fact, I'd like to inform you of a new feature, "The Carolines watch," to prove to you that my skills at future-predictions will indeed be as I predict. You should rush out now and buy Youth Electronics, because your life needs it, your wife needs it, and you want to stay ahead of the trend, don't you?s The Carolines have easily usurped the throne for "album of the year."

(Check 'em out NOW at

--Joseph Kyle

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