The Rentals
Lost In Alphaville


4.0
excellent

Review

by SowingSeason STAFF
August 28th, 2014 | 26 replies


Release Date: 08/26/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Brimming with melody and bursting with energy.

For those who don’t know, The Rentals are headed by former Weezer bassist Matt Sharp. That’s also about where the similarities between the two bands end. Described as new wave, power pop, indie, or alternative rock, The Rentals seem to cover a wide range of genres – but I’d simply describe them as refreshing. In an era where artists strive to sample as many genres as possible, nearly to the point of parity, The Rentals are comfortable just plugging away in their own niche. There’s something to be said for awareness of one’s true identity, and when a band discovers its ideal style, it can be a beautiful thing to behold. Considering that The Rentals last released a full-length in 1999, it’s all the more impressive that Lost In Alphaville sounds so crisp, inviting, and one hundred percent caught up with the times.

After remaining mostly dormant for fifteen years, Lost In Alphaville is a reawakening for this band. They’ve managed to craft a piece that sounds elated, yet full of complexity and emotional depth. The triumphant aura of this record stems from a mix of contemplative, heart-on-sleeve male vocals and mesmerizing choral/backing female vocals that elevate The Rentals to a level that not many other indie bands have been able to ascend to. ‘1000 Seasons’ is the track that best showcases this, with an accessible give and take between Matt Sharp’s verses and Lauren Chipman’s choral harmonies. That’s generally the formula for success here, and even though all the songs essentially conform to those strengths, no two moments are the same. The Rentals appreciably keep things varied, and it plays to Lost In Alphaville’s benefit.

Perhaps the best song on the whole album, ‘It’s Time To Come Home’ immediately gets a chance to show the band’s colors during the opening track. It’s slower than most of the songs here, but it perfects the blend of moody alt-rock and funky, groovy vocals. Complete with backing ba-ba, ba-da’s, it surprisingly never sounds cliché. That’s basically The Rentals in a nutshell – not really rocking the metaphorical boat of ideas, but still managing to make waves. The electric guitars buzz with a youthful energy, the drumming actively keeps pace throughout, and there’s almost always one identifying quirk to set each track apart from the herd. Speaking of standing out, it would be criminal not to mention ‘Thought of Sound’, a track that embodies all of Lost In Alphaville’s best traits in one tidily composed, insanely infectious package. While it exemplifies what this band and record is all about, it is still only a microcosm of what they are. Every song on this album stands strongly on its own, presenting unique virtues. That’s the kind of album that doesn’t come along every day, and when it does, it makes you take notice.

The Rentals deserve ample praise for Lost In Alphaville. As one of the year’s most vibrant and youthful records, it is also one of the most surprising comebacks. It’s never easy to return to relevance after a decade and a half of absence, but The Rentals do it here while sounding completely natural. Brimming with melody and bursting with energy, The Rentals have made a statement album out of Lost In Alphaville. Those who afford this the attention that it so richly deserves will be rewarded.




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user ratings (11)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
August 27th 2014


16413 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

A rather brief write up on an album that deserves some exposure.

Digging: Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright in the End

tommygun
August 27th 2014


24988 Comments


sowing on a rooooollllllll

Lakes.
August 27th 2014


28378 Comments


omg didn't know this was a thing. got 2 get

Digging: Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright in the End

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
August 27th 2014


16413 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

So much attention worthy music this summer

ExplosiveOranges
August 27th 2014


3144 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sweet review, Sowing. Stuck between a 4 and a 4.5 for this one.

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mryrtmrnfoxxxy
August 27th 2014


13339 Comments


sweet

Digging: Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright in the End

TriangularDuck
August 27th 2014


87 Comments


this is a good album that I just listened to for the first time before checking sputnik today

feels like it'll be a good 4-4.5 star

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
August 27th 2014


16413 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks ExplosiveFruit : )

And yeah Triangular, this is certainly a good album!

ABjordanMM
August 28th 2014


1429 Comments


This is great. Dang sowing ily

Digging: Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright in the End

WatchItExplode
August 28th 2014


3272 Comments


The Rentals? Seems like this should be return of the rentals, their only other release came out like 15 years ago. I liked it though so I will check this out.

This doesn't go apeshiz with the moog does it?

Digging: Giant Squid - Minoans

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
August 28th 2014


16413 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

This has such a pleasant throwback feel. Like a classic 90's indie record or something.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
August 28th 2014


19918 Comments


nice review sowing. Never heard this band but i'm definitely interested to give them a go now

Digging: Transit - Joyride

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
August 28th 2014


16413 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

You would dig these guys Atari

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
August 28th 2014


13339 Comments


so is this songs freom the black hole

scottpilgrim10
August 28th 2014


4212 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

need to check this

Digging: Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright in the End

Rockjocky
August 28th 2014


1 Comments


So surprised to see this album. I thought these guys were done. Nice writeup for a great album. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
August 28th 2014


16413 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks! It's a very energetic and lively album.

ZombieCB
August 28th 2014


17 Comments


"Considering that The Rentals last released material in 1999..."

They released an EP in 2007

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
August 28th 2014


16413 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Oh really? I was completely unaware of that. I'll just edit it to say they last released a full-length in 1999. Good catch.

toxin.
August 29th 2014


12604 Comments


oh the listed track is greaat

"Brimming with melody and bursting with energy"
sounds like my kind of music!



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