An album does not need to revolutionize to succeed. The Philadelphia band Literature understands this on their recent effort, Chorus. Nothing on the album pushes the musical world forward or challenges conventions. Instead, with short, sky-blue, breezy indie-pop songs, the band delivers a solid album.
The production of this album deserves special praise. All of the tracks sound like they were finished off with a soft glaze. Polished, the songs prove easy on the ears. It reminds of how an elegant person does not need to engage in attention-seeking antics — by presence alone elegance can get your focus. These songs do not demand the listener’s engagement, but the beauty of the tracks attracts it anyway.
New Jacket particularly impresses as a strong track. The song features an unfolding pop structure with many different levels. The chorus emerges strongly, with quick repetitive guitar strums and a simple, unforced vocal melody. The sounds all spill into each other in a gentle cascade. New Jacket captures Literature’s skill in crafting gentle pop songs with a smooth recording quality.
The album, however, could benefit from a legitimate lead single. All of the tracks on Chorus succeed, but none truly transcend. Vampire Weekend had “Diane Young” which reached another level and led their album. Chorus lacks a similar song to spearhead the album and immediately grab and connect with listeners. Nonetheless, all of the songs sound pleasant and no track really fails.
Literature displays a knack for brevity on Chorus. Many tracks clock well under three minutes. It’s like they don’t want to bother you too much. “We’ll just be in and out in no time,” they might say. The album doesn’t bother the listener, bend the musical landscape, or shock. Instead, Literature delivers a solid album that slides comfortably in the modern indie caboose.