Reviewed by Greg Beets, Fri., Aug. 9, 2002
SaratoneNumber One Record (Almost There) It's no accident Saratone coined their debut Number One Record. Though slightly-quirky-but-well-polished pop rock quartets aren't exactly dominating the charts right now, vocalist Elyse Eichsteadt and guitarist Ty Chandler wrote songs that revel in the romantic notion of energetic, hook-laden 45s tailor-made for the summer airwaves. While the local group is tight and the production almost spot-on, Eichsteadt is ultimately the delineating factor. Her familiar yet singular tone adds a nice organic counterweight to the sweetly slick bombast of guitar-driven pop nuggets like "Marysaw" and "Candy Apple Red." A good deejay could seamlessly insert either of these songs into a set also featuring the Primitives, Letters to Cleo, and Veruca Salt. And a good soundtrack supervisor could easily find a place for "December 11th" in a forlorn scene after the pretty/ugly girl temporarily loses the brick-dumb hunk to the bitchy prom queen. Saratone can also pull off slower, more contemplative material like "90 Miles" and "Paper Thin" with aplomb. The latter features a wistful, four-minute coda with piano by Eichsteadt and a simple, tasteful string arrangement. Mourn the loss of vinyl's cracks and pops if you must, but there's something to be said for the bright sonic clarity Saratone brings to this modern pop endeavor.