Release Date: Jun 3, 2008
Record label: Polyvinyl
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
On their previous releases, Chicago’s the M’s sounded like the second coming of Marc Bolan, but instead of playing songs about Jeeps, he played songs from the Ray Davies songbook. On their third album, Real Close Ones, the band sound beholden to a different genre all together: psychedelia, but not the Beatles brand, the Dave Fridmann/Flaming Lips brand (which coincidentally, borrows heavily from the pomp and circumstance of glam). And while the genre switch isn’t like switching from neo-soul to Norwegian black metal, the band both succeeds and struggles with the transition.
The M's' follow-up to their excellent Future Women album, 2008's Real Close Ones, doesn't quite reach the same dizzying heights but is still a satisfying listen. As before, the band mixes and matches various musical styles (straight-up indie rock, glam rock, folk, and good old rock & roll) and influences (most notably Harry Nilsson on the lascivious "Naked"), and ends up with a bright and sparkling result, only this time there is more melancholy blended in -- maybe even a trace of weariness in place of the swaggering joy Future Women was infected with. Songs like "Papers" and "Get Your Shit Together" are real-life laments made by guys with real lives; there is far less swagger and strut on display here.