Army Navy, 'The Last Place' (eMusic Selects)

8
The Last Place
Critical Mass
Release Date: July 12, 2011
Label: eMusic Selects

by Brian Raftery

The second album from this jangle-drunk Los Angeles quartet is pure pop for now people: Underneath Last Place's aerial guitar riffs and chipper choruses lies an astutely observed, acutely wrenching breakup narrative. Frontman Justin Kennedy cycles through the stages of grief, from bitterness (the deceptively upbeat piano plink of "Ode to Janice Melt") to shrugging acceptance (the aptly titled "Pastoral"), emphasizing sharp hooks and partisan reportage over woe-is-me solipsism. A feel-bad record you can actually feel good about.

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