Release Me

Album Review of Release Me by The Like.

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Release Me

The Like

Release Me by The Like

Release Date: Jun 15, 2010
Record label: Downtown
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Garage Rock Revival

70 Music Critic Score
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Release Me - Fairly Good, Based on 6 Critics

AllMusic - 80
Based on rating 8/10
80

In the time after the release of their 2005 album Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking?, the Like lost a member (bassist Charlotte Froom), shifted record labels (from Geffen to Downtown), got a mod makeover, and most importantly, changed their sound from pretty but uninspired punk-pop to tough and exciting garage rock-inspired pop. The production of 2010's Release Me was handled (mostly) by Mark Ronson, and together with remaining bandmembers Z. Berg and Tennessee Thomas, he gets a very authentic mid-'60s sound with plenty of reverb, drums that snap, guitars that are light but crunchy, and an overall tight and jumping sound.

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Drowned In Sound - 70
Based on rating 7/10
70

It’s like, they’re this totally hot girl band, who have family that, like, work in the record industry and got them hooked up with a deal when they were, like, still in their senior year. They released this one record years ago that was kinda, like, ok in a lame ‘hear my teenage angst’ yawn kinda way. But, then they met this, like, producer called Martin Ronson or something, and have this new record coming out that has this totally Sixties vibe going.

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PopMatters - 70
Based on rating 7/10
70

On the Like’s first album, 2005’s Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking?, the band had a lot going for it: an instant pop pedigree of the kind that comes with being the progeny of record industry royalty, a fierce independence of the sort often ascribed to an all girl group any time members play their own instruments with any level of competence, charmingly cautious folk-pop songs, and the voice of frontwoman Z Berg. Puzzlingly, despite all these clear attributes, the Like hadn’t hit upon quite the combination that makes indie-pop darlings. Fast forward five years later and the Like may have found the magical missing piece in the form of another industry darling, Mark Ronson.

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The Guardian - 60
Based on rating 3/5
60

Afive year gap between albums usually signifies problems, and so it was with California's the Like. Originally a three-piece, they lost a member (bassist Charlotte Froom) just before the prolonged work started on this follow-up to their under-performing debut Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking? Having expanded to a four-piece, they seem now to have found their comfort zone, aided by producer Mark Ronson, who returns to the vintage 60s pop stylings of his work with Amy Winehouse. Thankfully, Release Me has enough spark to overcome the fairly obvious production staples – organs swell, drums pop, guitars fizz – and at the centre of it all are singer Elizabeth Berg's tales of useless men.

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The New York Times
Their review was positive

Here We Go Magic Luke Temple could be talking to himself in a song called “Collector” on Here We Go Magic’s second album, “Pigeons” (Secretly Canadian), when he sings, “You find the Lord in repetition.” His kind of repetition is the ceaseless, clockwork patterns of New York City art ….

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BBC Music
Their review was highly critical

Exemplary of production, but tired of lyric and shamelessly opportunistic. Everett True 2010 Sorry, I'm confused: is this the same The Like that 'burst' upon the scene a couple of years ago with a folksy, elfin look that borrowed extensively from Joanna Newsom? Now they come replete with polka dots, produced by Mark ‘Amy Winehouse’ Ronson with a handful of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings in their backing band, sounding for all the world like an over-pampered version of Brighton’s own Pipettes Mk I? Whoa. Even for a bunch of rich kids with from LA, the opportunism is shameless.

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