- SPIN Rating:7 of 10
Label: Sub Pop
On his fifth full-length, this '60s-pop obsessive mostly ditches the balmy homemade chorales of his earlier work for folk-rock verities, crafting his tightest, fullest-sounding record yet. Now a savvy strategist, he mixes in all manner of relationship highs and lows to match his stylistic shifts -- a couple raring to elope on power popper "Fire Escape," a stalled affair on the multilayered psych of "I Don't Get That," a desperately pleading dude on garage rocker "Little Girl," and a hopeful dreamer on baroque pop gem "August." If R.E.M. are ever ready for a roots move, they should give Stoltz a shout.