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Album Review: Twinsmith's "Alligator Years"

Twinsmith is Jordan Smith, Matt Regner, Bill Sharp, and Oliver J. Morgan
Twinsmith – Alligator Years

Quick Review: Although Alligator Years is a clear departure from the hazy tones of Twinsmith’s debut album, their sophomore effort excels as a charming blend of retro pop and west coast flavored indie. These elements combine to make Alligator Years a fun and infectious summer soundtrack that celebrates the ups and downs of youth. 

Full Review: Omaha pop-rock band Twinsmith have released their sophomore album, Alligator Years, on May 5th, 2015, via the label Saddle Creek. The album starts off with the indie rock punch, “Seventeen,” which guarantees the listener that they are in for a high-energy ride full of highs and lows, both musically and emotionally. Next is the title track, “Alligator Years,” a retro-flavored tune bathed in tones of summer; this is the album’s standout points and one I have automatically added to this season’s playlist for the times spent driving in the sunshine and hanging out with friends. “Is It Me” is yet another highlight, this time featuring singer Jordan Smith’s full vocal range and perhaps echoing the guitar-driven tones of early-days Strokes.

“Shut Me Out” follows suit as a radio-ready singalong and “Constant Love” reaches back to the hazy daydreaming sounds of the band’s first album. “Said And Done” is the record’s synth-infused staple of feel-good, infectious indie rock. “Lost Time” and “Haunts” reiterate the album’s overall theme of youth, uncertainty, and knowing everything will work out for the best.  “Dust” is the album’s deepest moment, full of longing and self-doubt – “It’s all in my head, will this all settle in?” – and is a track we all can undoubtedly relate to. The appropriately-named closing track, “Carry On,” is an inspiring piano ballad that reminds listeners to push forward in life despite the barriers and bad times that arise.

Overall, Alligator Years is a fun, upbeat, and surprisingly thoughtful record that is ready to be blasting from the car stereo with the windows rolled down as we drive into summer surrounded with friends. Alligator Years is perfect album that puts into music what many teens and young adults feel in this moment – a hollow fear and subtle emptiness at the prospect of making our way into the real world – but serves as a reminder that we don’t have to do it alone. 

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