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On this self-titled six-song EP, Los Angeles' Grouplove continue to create an idiosyncratic neo-folk/rock sound in the mold of Arcade Fire and the Decemberists. The group is more about musical ideas than musical execution. The playing by the quintet is both spirited and ramshackle, with arrangements full of interesting juxtapositions of instruments and vocals, some of which clash with each other or crash in without warning. For example, "Naked Kids," with its celebration of seashore life (it's more fun to skinny-dip in the ocean than stay home and watch Oprah), pays obvious tribute to the Beach Boys and their musical sophistication, yet the actual performance is closer to the enjoyably falling-apart style of the Replacements. That can be fun, but probably Grouplove will be even more effective after they tighten up and begin to be able to realize their musical ambitions with chops to match.
Review by William Ruhlmann
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