Speak

I Believe in Everything (Playing in Traffic)

Record Review

Speak

I Believe in Everything (Playing in Traffic)

They had you at "Bitter Sweet Symphony." Not literally the Verve, yet the symphonic stutter step touching off Speak's full-length debut I Believe in Everything announces the local foursome's intentions past the bright dazzle of opener "Wars" ("This is war, but baby let's be friends for just a little while"). A Fountains of Wayne pop bang to "Carrie" comes hard-clipped and snappy, pounding waves of keyboards under frontman Troupe Gammage's falsetto hook and banked FOW refrain. Said New York group's Adam Schlesinger stands as a reference point, at least until "Stand by Us," a squirming keyboard sequence that zigzags into your dance wheelhouse faster than Justice. "Louder" especially bangs synth epic, big and blinding, and it's here Speak's ambitions sound off loudest. In fact, "81" could double as a Billie Joe Armstrong Broadway ballad. Synthetically thin, digital tin, Everything misses only analog warmth and fattening because it's already 10 feet tall.

***

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