The Luxury Sounds of the Losing Blueprint
Independent labels planning on issuing compilations, please take note: "sounds" is plural here, indicating that Losing Blueprint Records hosts bands that donít all make the same kind of music. This might seem self-evident, but far too many indie labels fail to include the variety demonstrated on "The Luxury Sounds of the Losing Blueprint."
Compilations have a hard time standing up to albums on the shelves at record stores. Albums have all kinds of things to offer Ė thematic unity, focus and a full exploration of one artist or groupís ideas. One of the few advantages compilations have is variety. Obviously, if all the songs on a compilation sound the same, most listeners would probably rather have a regular album.
That being said, itís depressing how many indie compilations provide listeners with bands slavishly devoted to one narrow style of music. Today itís emo-pop ala Jimmy Eat World or New Found Glory Ė tomorrow it could be anything, although my money is on electronic-beat indie modeled after Her Space Holiday and The Busy Signals.
The Losing Blueprint Records, a young East Coast label, does a satisfactory job of avoiding this pitfall by including bands from various points of the indie map. Highlights include the innovative rhythms and softly insistent female vocals of The Method and Result, the pitch-perfect looming keyboard intro of Vaguely Star Shaped and the odd acoustics of Andrew Wagner. The best track on here is easily the horn-bristling PopCanon, whose song very cleverly references everyone from philosopher Willard Quine to rapper Will Smith.
This compilationís only major weakness is an over-reliance on mathy, vocal-less indie rock. This style isnít bad by any means, but a third of the bands on this compilation are doing it, and itís pretty hard to make seven-minute songs without vocals or hooks memorable. The Losing Blueprint has clearly put some thought into their label and this compilation, and itís well worth the six bucks theyíre asking for it.