Anthony Worden and the Illiterati released Voila last year which we covered here at Divide and Conquer. They are back about a year and a half later with How Could We Lose When We're So Sincere? which is a nine-song album.
The band cites a wide variety of influences such as Elvis Costello, Steely Dan, The Talking Heads, Sly Stone and many others. They start with “How Long?” which is clearly more ’70s influenced. It’s funky but melds ’70s aesthetics in the spirit of bands like Three Dog Night. It’s a great song and I loved the sax solo.
Next up is “Jean” and there’s a different vocalist on this song. This song has a little different aesthetic. Take for instance the strumming patterns which are more reminiscent of songs like “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield. The song does expand into a bit of a romp which works.
The emotion and energy changes considerably on “Beetle Box.” This song is more intimate, melancholy and the BPM is relatively slower than the first couple of songs. It sounds great and I especially liked the vocals on this song which are split between two different singers. This song does expand with elements.
The next song “So Many People” has a similar energy that I really liked. The ’80s sounding synths worked really well as they slowly became more prevalent in the mix. “Lost in the Fog of War'' has such a reminiscent sound that you heard a lot in the late ’80s and early ’90s —especially that drum sound.
“Sad Stories” is a near perfect balance of emotion. It's a warm and comforting ballad that provides solace to your soul. The vocals are really well done. “Execution” is the most rocking song and quite anthemic. Up next is “My Exploding Plastic Heart is Sweeter Than Reason” which has shades of The Beatles, ’50s pop and more. Last up is “Nothing More” which is another great song and I was getting Vampire Weekend vibes.
This is one of the few artists who can pull off genre hopping like this. If you’ve read my reviews I usually prefer a signature sound. In this case they pull off the different styles so well it all went out the window. Take a listen.
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