Motion City Soundtrack, 'Even If It Kills Me' (Epitaph)

8
Even If It Kills Me
Critical Mass
Label: Epitaph

by Peter Gaston

Being Motion City Soundtrack in 2007 must feel a bit like being Gabrielle Carteris in 1990 -- you know, Andrea from Beverly Hills 90210. You're pushing 30, but you make your dough appealing to 17-year-olds and sometimes acting like them, too, no matter your hairline or marital status. But instead of skipping the 20s dilemma, as Carteris did by leaving Beverly Hills for her own grown-up talk show (it bombed), Motion City have deftly filled that space between emotional adolescence and responsible adulthood with this set of near-perfect pop.

Some of the complex carbs fueling the band's growth spurt come via Ric Ocasek, frontman of '80s pop-rock icons the Cars, who produced five tracks. On lead single "This Is for Real," the band dials down the spunky tempos that populated the last two albums, and Ocasek reins in Jesse Mack Johnson's keyboard squeals for a mechanically hypnotic chorus that's reminiscent of, well, the Cars (minus the poorly animated video). Elsewhere, "Last Night" finds Motion City gingerly approaching the slinkiness of the Cure's "Close to Me" with some dewy-eyed piano twinkles and skinny-tie beats.

But fret not, Facebookers: Motion City aren't ready to abandon their emo faithful. They're just writing songs like "Calling All Cops," whose power-chord swells and Transformers references should find receptive ears among lovers of both Shia LaBeouf and Luke Perry.

Now Hear This: Motion City Soundtrack - "This Is For Real" STREAMING MP3

More on Motion City Soundtrack: Backstage at Lollapalooza Motion City Soundtrack Talk New Album

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