December 27, 2001

Kissing Book "(S)"

It would be really lazy of me to simply say, "I like this record, it's pretty, you should buy it". Its tempting, though, because (S) is a really pretty record. It's jazzy, upbeat, and lush. It's also exceedingly annoying trying to find words to describe it, simply because I really feel that there's no real reason to pontificate about it.

It's not lounge music, but it sure sounds a lot like it. Hell, I'm having a difficult time thinking of this as indiepop, because it's nowhere near as twee or ramshackle as much indiepop. It's indie-lounge, I swear. In a way, it reminds me of (The Real) Tuesday Weld, but I think Kissing Book reminds me more of the jazzier elements of The Mercury Program. It's droning, it's intense, and it's also really lovely. It's like something you should listen to on a date, over drinks, and small talk. It's On the Rocks-rock, best served chilled.

I also find it difficult to talk about any particular song, because they're all good. (S) is a very brief album, with twelve songs in just over a half-hour. As such, whoever mixed this album did an excellent job, opting not for any space between numbers, and creating one long, consecutive record. Where one track ends, another one begins, and, truthfully, if you don't have the track listing at hand, you'd be hard pressed in some cases to know where and when the song changed! In that regard, (S) is one long, continuous musical composition that consists of twelve movements. Thinking of the album as one long, flowing, easy-listening piece certainly makes the record seem longer than its brief thirty-two minutes.

I feel dirty, somehow, in talking about all of these things, because (S) is a pure, enjoyable listening experience. I like this record. It's pretty, you should go buy it.

--Joseph Kyle

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