The Sour Notes
It's Not Gonna Be Pretty
Reviewed by Austin Powell, Fri., Jan. 15, 2010
The Sour NotesIt's Not Gonna Be Pretty
Songwriter Jared Boulanger must keep Brill Building hours. Last year, the Sour Notes issued its engaging full-length debut, Received in Bitterness, chased with a 7-inch single. Sophomore LP It's Not Gonna Be Pretty marks the local quartet's sharpest and most cohesive work to date. Opener "Beyond Recognition" splits the difference between the Postal Service and Say Hi, programmed beats and bassist Elaine Greer's sweet harmony building toward Boulanger's conclusive refrain: "It's all right, I don't mind." In fact, most of the album sticks to the Barsuk variety of indie rock: soft melodies with a vulnerable streak set to a revolving and airtight pop backdrop, from vindictive guitar rave-up "Do-ers & Say-ers" and synth-cushion "One Word Emotions" to the beautifully melancholic "A Cute Little Ruin." Just over 30 minutes, It's Not Gonna Be Pretty is teasingly brief, but thankfully that's an issue the Sour Notes can remedy in no time flat.