Laura Stevenson
Sit Resist


3.5
great

Review

by Beram C. Lansay USER (21 Reviews)
May 17th, 2011 | 71 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This humble offering is perhaps too humble for its own good.

“Sit Resist” is not bad album by any stretch of the imagination; quite the contrary, the vocals, the lyrics, the instrumentation are all intelligent, well produced, and infectiously melodic. The issue is that, despite not fitting comfortably within a specific genre, there is still no attempt at experimentation. The music feels somewhat complacent to be identified as indie-pop yet it distinctly lacks the anthemic choruses associated with the genre. It could be argued that the instrumentation is incredibly catchy, and in a certain regard, it is. The brilliantly woven guitar work is made most obvious in the tracks “Master of Art” and “Peachy”, which are not just upbeat but instantly pleasant for the listener as well. Again, this is not what holds the album back, but in a similar sense, it is. There are certain limitations presented by the pop approach, namely that the genre values aesthetics over substance. This formulaic approach is wonderfully contradicted by lyricism of “Sit Resist” though.

The lyrics subtly nod towards folk, which provides more substance than the previously mentioned pop counterpart. Laura Stevenson displays an extremely clever use of thought provoking words, holding many similarities to the likes of folk; specifically the track “Montauk Monster”, which draws strong roots in both bluegrass and folk. Ms. Stevenson also has a quaint yet unavoidable charm to her voice, and that is really the vocal point for the album. When her voice waivers as she croons “Unabashed oh my darling you're amazing, with your hands so cold and full of callouses.” there is no resisting her plea. To deny her candid honesty is to reveal a heart as cold and calloused as the hands of her lost love. Laura Stevenson carries each song, this is the most evident merit the album possesses.

It would seem that “Sit Resist” is everything you could want out of an album: uplifting instrumentation paired with an amazing singer who impresses lyrically as well as vocally. Indeed those two factors paired together present the notion that this is simply perfect. The instrumentals grab your attention and the vocals keep you coming back for more. Still, something is missing. Referring back to the concept of experimentation: this album fails to push the boundaries of either folk or pop, nor does it fit nicely within either of them. Tragically this translates into the music becoming somewhat monotonous after several listens. It could be compared loosely to the likes of post-rock; with many bands, such as Explosions in the Sky, falling complacently into the quiet-loud mechanism that plagues the genre. The song structure found on “Sit Resist” follows this parallel path of predictability: each track starts off as very soft, eventually building into a furious collage of guitars and drums as Laura raises her voice to sit atop the loud clash of instruments.

Of course there is some incorporation of varied instrumentation: “Finish Piece” utilizes a piano; “Montauk Monster” utilizes a banjo; and “I See Dark” utilizes an accordion. Sadly, “Halloween Pts. 1 & 2”, “Master of Art”, “Caretaker”, and “8:08” all offer melodic guitar riffs that are strikingly familiar. By the time the track “Barnacles” begins to play, there is a nagging feeling of deja-vu; as if we have already heard the track several times over. Ultimately this album has an uncanny resemblance to that of the Fleet Foxes' self titled debut: initially impressive but wearing thin after repeated plays. “Sit Resist” suffers from being too polished and too complacent with its sound. While Laura Stevenson has plenty to offer, and what she has to offer is fantastic, she falls victim to the album's somewhat repetitive nature. You can't blame a band for finding its sound and perfecting it, yet, you would like to see some sort of flirtation outside their comfort zone. Regardless, Laura Stevenson and the Cans have found their rhythm on “Sit Resist” and have crafted a truly impressive offering. They have honed in on their sound, and this is a monumental step for the band as a whole. It will be exciting to observe the direction Ms. Stevenson takes the Cans in albums following “Sit Resist”.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
lancebramsay
May 17th 2011


1585 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

A compliment hidden in a criticism. Woah, what? Neg

lancebramsay
May 17th 2011


1585 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Also, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeH2-XA1k6Q

DoubtGin
May 17th 2011


6754 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

good review, good album

Maniac!
May 17th 2011


26257 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

not a 4.5 or 5, negnegneg

DiceMan
May 17th 2011


7068 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

can't say this album isn't love

lancebramsay
May 17th 2011


1585 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album managed to simultaneously grow on me while grow off me

Maniac!
May 17th 2011


26257 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

that makes no sense whatsoever, and there's no way to rationalize it

lancebramsay
May 17th 2011


1585 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If you read the review the statement would make much more sense. But yea, reading is pretty lame amirite?

lancebramsay
May 17th 2011


1585 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh and anything can be rationalized (see holocaust)

Maniac!
May 17th 2011


26257 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

ioi

lancebramsay
May 17th 2011


1585 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

!O!

DiceMan
May 17th 2011


7068 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

how does the holocaust make sense of a paradoxical statement?

lancebramsay
May 17th 2011


1585 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Because in a certain sense the holocaust is a paradox in itself. But geeez my statement isnt actually a paradox, unfortunately my review is incomprehensible or something... To summarize, the initial reason I enjoyed this album, the upbeat atmosphere/instrumentals, started to wear thin while I simultaneously grew much more fond of the lyrics/vocals. Come on! I aint crazy, I already explained this in the review... Is it not clear?

Maniac!
May 17th 2011


26257 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

u dum

DiceMan
May 17th 2011


7068 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I didn't read your review. I rarely read full reviews on this site unless I'm looking for some information on the artist/band/whatever.

If you wanna be technical,


This album managed to simultaneously grow on me while grow off me


this statement is incorrect. Specific aspects of the album grew on you while specific aspects of the album grew off of you. Upbeat atmosphere/instrumentals =/= album =/= lyrics/vocals

lancebramsay
May 17th 2011


1585 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Woah dood now you are over simplifying this. You can break down the logic/structure of the sentence by itself but it is clearly intended as a comment associated with the review. If you want to be technical, let us examine your first comment:

can't say this album isn't love
your statement contradicts itself. Double negative lol

But yea, the whole holocaust thing was a joke. It literally has nothing to do with anything here, I'm merely poking fun at the fact you guys have no frame of reference (did not read my review)

Maniac!
May 17th 2011


26257 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I read your review, I just like bothering you

lancebramsay
May 17th 2011


1585 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If you are female, this is acceptable. If you are male, I'm a little creeped out.

Maniac!
May 17th 2011


26257 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

You better be.

DiceMan
May 17th 2011


7068 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

*sigh*





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