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"That Dude Leads A Depressing Life"
June 05, 2012 - Count Your Lucky Stars
Joie De Vivre broke up for approximately nine months in 2011. While they haven't necessarily grown stronger in that short period with their “reunion” full-length, We're All Better Than This, they're certainly no worse for the wear. Their sophomore LP dishes out more of the same totally earnest and softly twinkling songs for those still romanticizing the Midwestern emo of the mid-to-late ’90s.
Where prior material could be kindly described as Mineral worship, the songs on We're All Better Than This are far more vocals-and-lyrics heavy, and also more concise. There are just as many tracks as 2010's The North End, but it’s 10 minutes shorter. It makes it difficult for the songs to really stick, but they're enjoyable in the moment. Augmented by light, tasteful organ and the occasional American Football-style brass, the band could now be compared to the Promise Ring in a roundabout way: Think the mellowness of Wood/Water with the roughness of 30° Everywhere.
The one catch is how upbeat the band often actually sound, though. From playful song titles such as "Wait Wait Wait...How Soon IS Now?" and "High School Me Would Have Been Pumped" to the easygoing horn lines in "Going To A Going Away Party," We're All Better Than This is more lighthearted than its strained vocals and sometimes minor keys would lead one to believe.