Little Joy Download Guide + MP3

littlejoy

As we continue to wait for America’s sweethearts of 2001, The Strokes, to get back into the studio we can at least take some small bit of refuge in the fact that there are — at last count — anywhere from 2.5 to 13 different side projects currently underway from the guys in the band.  The latest one on our radar comes courtesy of their irrepressible skins man, Fab Moretti, and his band Little Joy.

Little Joy retains much of the shaggy guitar pop that marked the first two Strokes albums but is infused with a breezy tropicalia sound that makes us wish this album had come out over the summer.  Sometimes you can just tell that a band had fun recording an album and there’s an overwhelming sense of that on this record.  Say what you want about it but Little Joy’s debut is full of heart if nothing else.

Full rundown and mp3s after the jump!

For those of you who may not know, our Download Guides are a simple, quick system to evaluate albums on a song-by-song basis and thus help you in the ongoing mission to fill your iTunes with all killer and little-to-no filler.  We’d recommend you don’t think of this as a review but a way to help you navigate your through the a la carte world of MP3s.  Songs are evaluated on a grade school, plus/minus system: A, B, C etc.

  1. The Next Time Around – A tropical guitar intro gives way to a dreamy, blissful mid-tempo pop song.  “I belong to you / That’s how it’s meant to be” Rodrigo Amarante sings before a chorus of oohs and aahs washes over the track like waves on sand.  In a word it’s delightful.  And if this song doesn’t warm you up then you should probably stop with the album right now.
    Final grade: A
    MP3 Little Joy – The Next Time Around
  2. Brand New Start – So after hitting repeat on “The Next Time Around” we’re here with track number two.  A guitar tweak and refrain of “There ain’t no lover like the one I got” led by a horn section make this one surefire singalong material for friends.
    Final grade: B
  3. Play The Part – If it were possible to enjoy a Charlie Brown Christmas in Rio, I imagine this would be the theme song.  A tender melody that’s almost heartbreaking in its beauty, it showcases a part of the musical spectrum that Fab would never have gotten to show in his primary band and some of the soul and depth they’ve long been ignoring.
    Final grade: A
    MP3 Little Joy – Play The Part
  4. No One’s Better Sake – Back to the business of uptempo music, the breezy dream rock of this track parts the clouds and lets the sun shine through.  If your foot isn’t tapping then it’s probably time to check your pulse.
    Final grade: B
  5. Unattainable – Led by female vocalist, Binki Shapiro, this track reminds us of some of the more plaintive tracks from She & Him.  “Jealousy lay all your spells to bed / I’ll choose unloved instead.”  In the end it’s a pretty track but probably not the one to make you download the album.
    Final grade: B-
  6. Shoulder To Shoulder – A spare, minimal drum beat slowly leads into us asking ourselves, Is Amarante trying to sound like Julian Casablancas? Anyway, this song is a slow two minutes and forty seconds.  We say, SKIP.
    Final grade: C-
  7. With Strangers – Wow, this makes three mediocre, slow songs in a row…
    Final grade: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
  8. Keep Me In Mind – I’m pretty sure the Arctic Monkeys used the same opening guitar riff, but that’s okay for two reasons 1) They probably stole that riff from The Strokes anyway 2) It’s not a slow song!  They’ve plugged their guitars back in after those three previous snoozers.  Oh, and it’s now official that Rodrigo Amarante went to the Julian Casablancas school of vocals.
    Final grade: B+
  9. How To Hang A Warhol – This one’s kind of jumpy but harmless.  Like that one weird kid who used to be obsessed with The Offspring in your physics class.
    Final grade: C
  10. Don’t Watch Me Dancing – Back to the slow jams.  Actually, with Binki on the vocals this track is pretty elegant and dare we say gorgeous?  After a slow start this one picks up and gets into some rich, country like territory as the refrain sways and builds through the last thirty second and a horn section joins in.
    Final grade: B
  11. Evaporar – Just a voice and a guitar.  And is that Portuguese we hear from Amarante?  A nice, quiet closer to an album full of nice moments.  We know we weren’t feeling the slow songs earlier but the last two have redeemed some of the sagginess caused by the songs in the middle of the album.
    Final grade: B-

Thanks for reading the download guide and be sure to pick up the album legally if you like it or see Little Joy on tour. 

Little Joy Myspace

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5 Comments

Filed under Music, Rock

5 responses to “Little Joy Download Guide + MP3

  1. You know, Moretti is just doing backing vocals is this cd, ang playing drums, of course. The one singing is Rodrigo Amarante, from Los Hermanos, a brazillian band, who just like The strokes is on a hiatus right now. The last song, in portuguese, is his.

  2. Yep, you’re correct. Thanks for pointing that out! The post has been amended.

  3. Kallipolis

    Now this is better music, other than the retarded love children of the monkeys you had featured before.

  4. good job i checked in (as i regularly do)!
    that was worth the read and a listen!
    full of heart indeed…

    thank you!

  5. Thanks for the kind words! I checked out your site and really enjoy your work as well.

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