Review Summary: Perhaps the cute, indie-pop duo have something a little more charismatic and interesting up their sleeves for the future, but unfortunately they give us no indication of this on Cape Dory, one Cape I won’t be visiting again.4 of 4 thought this review was well written
Sailing sounds about right. Smooth and gentle, sunny and warm, and always on the surface, never delving too deep (well, hopefully anyway)... a main topic on Cape Dory
also serves as a perfect metaphor. Husband-and-wife duo Tennis aren’t exactly charting new territory with their vintage 1950‘s-inspired indie-pop album, but something tells me that wasn’t the destination Tennis were aiming for anyway. Based around the concept of the couple’s eight-month sailing trip along the Atlantic Coast, Cape Dory
is oddly reminiscent and about as interesting as watching your neighbors show their slide show of, well... sailing down the Atlantic Coast. With its wistful and saccharine love-filled tunes and harmonious melodies, Cape Dory
had the potential to be a bright ray of sunshine to combat these cheek-reddening, chilly January nights. Instead, the tepid and homogenous Cape Dory
falls short. The homogenous blob of near-indistinguishable songs on Tennis’s LP is an almost embarrassing over-the-top and superficial venture that, while pleasant enough, never offers enough substance to impress.
Alaina Moore is the obvious center of Cape Dory
. Her gentle, soothing voice laps over the listener like the soothing sploosh of cool, blue waves. Unfortunately, it’s also as repetitive as waves, one after another ad infinitum. Even at a hair over a half hour, Cape Dory
succumbs to monotony and becomes a painstaking listen because of it-- not what you would want from an album that strives to be as carefree as a sunny day at the beach. Ooo-ooo-oh-oh
’s and unrelentingly upbeat harmonies galore and always harkening back to the tried-and-true vintage/indie vibe, Cape Dory
’s most obvious aspects also become the most grating.
To complement the lovey doviness of Moore’s voice is fittingly lyric upon lyric based around the beach, water-themed adventures, and most prominently-- love. Simple and fun, nobody’s asking Cape Dory
to make any meaningful philosophical or sociopolitical statements, but at least Tennis could have made it interesting. Instead, the love on Cape Dory
comes across soulless and shallow. It’s not a mature love that Tennis brings to the table; nor is it the puppy-love of teens that’s accompanied by a gazillion highs, lows, and drama-ridden days. It’s more akin to the “love” of young tweens that are only emulating the “love” they see on TV between characters on Hannah Montana, for instance. Worse yet, Tennis saturate Cape Dory
past the point of annoyance with this stuff. Again though, it’s not that Tennis’s offenses are particularly offensive (they’re not), rather it’s more that Cape Dory
is so uninteresting.
Tennis captures exactly what it’s like to “Nap through the day on sun-bathed sands,”
and I mean that in the worst way possible. Not a single aspect of Cape Dory
provides any intrigue or reason to listen again. The music --topical mush-- slides on by, and like a wave retreats back into the ocean from where it came without leaving any impression at all. Tennis’s LP is meant to act like a vibrant ray of sunshine to warm our frozen hands here in the depths of winter, but instead it is closer to a bathing suit: definitely reminiscent of those mid-June beach days, but pretty useless and downright out of place right now. Perhaps the cute, indie-pop duo have something a little more charismatic and interesting up their sleeves for the future, but unfortunately they give us no indication of this on Cape Dory
, one Cape I won’t be visiting again.