Tennis
Cape Dory


3.5
great

Review

by Conrad Tao EMERITUS
January 17th, 2011 | 69 replies | 8,768 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An irresistible burst of sunshine in the dead of winter.

On paper, the premise behind Cape Dory is teeth-gnashingly cute. The husband-and-wife duo behind Tennis, Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore, took an eight-month sailing trip and wrote short, sweet ‘60s-inspired pop songs about it. Their lyrics alternate between silly nautical rhymes (“Coconut Grove is a very small cove”) and irritably lovey-dovey flights of fancy (“Take me out, baby, I wanna go sail tonight / I can see the ocean in the pale moonlight”). Their sound is hardly anything new, existing in the same ‘60s-revival indie pop vein as Best Coast and the Dum Dum Girls. Their songs are line-crossingly similar to one another, making their debut sound almost as homogeneous as Crazy For You. And to top it all off, that album cover exemplifies every single bad quality of "retro". But there’s something utterly charming about the way these songs unfold, with Moore effortlessly capturing their inherent romanticism and Riley’s guitar work practically radiating sunshine. I mean, "Take Me Somewhere" is pretty much the same song as "Bimini Bay", but at least it's a good song.

Which is really what this album is all about: the tunes. What Cape Dory lacks in substance, it makes up for in hooks. The best songs here feature irresistibly catchy melodies and lovely vocal harmonies, lending a playful sheen to a potentially soggy line like "Darling you know I love you / I love you, oh-oh-whoa-oh". It helps, of course, that Moore has a gorgeous voice that makes even the most trite of sentiments feel genuine, and that Riley's pop sensibilities are rooted not simply in trendy surf-rock but also in old-school doo-wop tradition. The production is lo-fi but not insistently so, giving Moore's voice an appealingly polished sheen while retaining just enough fuzziness to evoke lazy days on the beach; this is a water-centric album, after all. And while there are times when the formula that Tennis work with fails to yield galvanizing results (the largely lifeless "Pigeon" comes to mind), they are happily outnumbered by successes. Besides, at just under 30 minutes, Cape Dory is a largely painless listen, and although it doesn't try to be groundbreaking in any way, it's a likable and assured debut.



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user ratings (50)
Chart.
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
Coloso (2)
Perhaps the cute, indie-pop duo have something a little more charismatic and interesting up their sl...


Comments:Add a Comment 
conradtao
Emeritus
January 17th 2011



2090 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

A short review for a short album! I was in Miami all last week and this album was a perfect soundtrack.

Tyrael
January 17th 2011



20824 Comments


I really don't like this, good review though.

Kiran
Emeritus
January 17th 2011



6001 Comments


been avoiding the buzz around this but i may give a couple songs a listen based on your good word!

album art is so off-putting though, just terrible

cbmartinez
January 17th 2011



2525 Comments


marathon is great, but I don't know if I could handle a whole album from them.

conradtao
Emeritus
January 17th 2011



2090 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ugh, I know. That album art is horrific.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 17th 2011



23806 Comments


holy shit that's an ugly album cover

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 17th 2011



23806 Comments


how redundant of me. Kirgasm, nice dig

Kiran
Emeritus
January 17th 2011



6001 Comments


word, its an awesome album

if this gets featured and i have to see that cover every time i check the front page, i will find you conrad tao

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 17th 2011



23806 Comments


"if this gets featured and i have to see that cover every time i check the front page"

please God no. my penis crawled inside of me when I first saw the artwork

conradtao
Emeritus
January 17th 2011



2090 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

why are you guys denying me a possible feature you're so mean :C

in all honesty though, this is a nice short listen, really painless and quite fun!

Xenophanes
Emeritus
January 17th 2011



10593 Comments


Literally everything about this seems utterly atrocious, so I'm gonna stay far away.

Pos.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
January 17th 2011



15732 Comments


exactly what xeno said

Knott-
Emeritus
January 17th 2011



10195 Comments


yeah where 'cute' is a synonym for 'nauseating'

conradtao
Emeritus
January 17th 2011



2090 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i felt the same way, but some of these songs are just so charming...

i normally hate twee stuff

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 17th 2011



23806 Comments


I hate Best Coast and all that shit to begin with so this doesn't sound like my cup of tea at all at all

conradtao
Emeritus
January 17th 2011



2090 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

well give this a listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7S5NZYZae4k

it's painless, i assure you.

AggravatedYeti
January 17th 2011



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

been semi looking forward to this. nice to read some kind words

omnipanzer
January 17th 2011



21442 Comments


Short and sweet
pos'd

Digging: The Ettes - Shake the Dust

Hep Kat
January 17th 2011



15347 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

band is pretty bad despite having one or two infectious songs

Digging: Botany Boyz - Forever Botany

Knott-
Emeritus
January 17th 2011



10195 Comments


that was pretty zzzz conrad not gonna lie



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