"I’m too sacred for the sinners/And the saints wish I would leave." - Mark Heard
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Review- The Rembrandts - Lost Together
This album is one of those that I still listen to a decade later. It's that good! Hey guys... how about some new music?
My college days were spent bathed in the music of The Rembrandts… melodious power-pop songs about unrequited love, friendship and moving on, all backed by dulcet Everly Brothers vocal harmonies and some great guitar. While their first two albums each received respectable radio airplay, it was their third that blew the pressure locks with the theme from "Friends." Such sudden fame took the focus off the music, eventually causing the two musical troubadours to go their separate ways. Then Danny Wilde released "Danny Wilde and the Rembrandts", a record so wretched that I didn't even try to score a free review copy. Then THRUSH, the new band of Phil Solemn, the other half of The Rembrandts released a local album in Minneapolis that could have, should have been the third Rembrandts album. But even this heavy pop/rock endeavor failed to capture the charisma of The Rembrandts, though it did cement in my mind which Rembrandt was responsible for the musical muscle. But like all great songwriting teams, the real spark is when the musical forces come together, creating songs greater than their proverbial parts.
Now that the history lesson is over, I bet you're wondering if Solemn and Wilde have managed to recapture the magic of their first two albums and the answer is… and how! Lost Together manages to capture the woody earnestness of their first album and the diversity of their second. While not earth-shatteringly different than these two albums, I'm not convinced this is a bad thing. After all, good, solid pop/folk/rock songs with candy vocal harmonies are always a plus in my book. The title track is a typical Rembrandts opener - jaw dropping harmonies, plenty of musical tension, and the obligatory mouth-watering cello. "St. Paul" mixes in a bit of country (just a bit, mind you) and "The Way She Smiles" is a soft love song enhanced by accordion. The single, "Too Late" is an upbeat song of hoped-for love that breaks into honey-sweet harmonies in the chorus and a great, gutsy guitar riff in the bridge. Sounding almost like early solo George Harrison, "One Of Us" finds Wilde singing "One of us has to say goodbye/ One of us has to know / That one of us has to be the one of us/ To let it go"…heart wrenching in it's delivery. More Beatles inspiration follows in "Some Other World" with a Rutles-esque riff that you'll swear you've heard before but can't possibly pin down the source. Of course, I'm much more settled in my love life than I was in college so the "gotta have that girl" lyrics don't resonate the way they used to, but twelve great songs can't help but to satisfy this musical sweet tooth.
This review first appeared in WhatzUp, November 2001.