Lit (Nitrus/DRT/Dirty Martini)
After amicably breaking ties with major label RCA, Lit experience --
phew -- freedom. But where to go musically? Back to the beginning, natch.
Frontman A. Jay Popoff, brother/guitarist Jeremy, bassist Kevin Baldes
and drummer Allen Shellenberger keep it simple, abandoning studio gloss
and reaching for live-show grit. The result: Lit, a comfortable collection
that successfully showcases the SoCal quartet's tightness and musical
maturity. Once and again an indie band, the foursome continue to move
from pop to metal to
punk and back with carefree abandon. Power pop gets Beatlesque for a
moment on "Forever Begins Right Now," adopts a Cheap Trick
lightness on "Needle and Thread" and thrashes about on "Too
Fast for a Fast Turn." The
foursome takes some serious turns as well, addressing suicide on Bulletproof"
and hard personal luck on "Times Like These"; A. Jay, a first-time
father, injects a newfound tenderness to "Lullaby" and sings
with understanding the Cure's ode to commitment "Pictures of You."
Throughout, the guys keep it loose and easy, clearly enjoying themselves
and the music they make. It's a surefire recipe for good pop, and hit
(MARIE ELSIE ST. LEGER)