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Maisieworld
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  • Since they re-formed in 2010, the Monochrome Set have been running at a creative pace that's easily the equal of their early, fondly remembered days in the early '80s. Over the course of four, now five, albums, the band's leader Bid has established himself as a still-vital elder statesmen of sophisticated guitar pop, dashing off witty, hooky songs full of wit and sass, ripping off fine guitar solos, and arranging his crack band like they were a high-scoring basketball team. 2018's Maisieworld is another fine example of what makes the Set so fun and enduring. The songs rollick and roll with a loose-limbed, good-natured feel, Bid croons and swoons like a louche balladeer long after dark, and the band meet their intrepid leader at every turn with just the right sonic accoutrement. Kicking off with the snappy "Give Me Your Youth," which features some fancy harpsichord, the album rambles along happily with a nice mix of songs that rock a bit ("Stage Fright," "Don't Wear That Look"), a couple of moody ballads, a little bit of disco ("Silence Is Rusty"), some that oddly feel like vintage Brit-pop (the very Auteurs-y "Cyber Son"), and those like "I Feel Fine (Really)" and "Don't Wear That Look," which sound like the Monochrome Set through and through. It's impressive that the band sound as spry and lively as they do, not because of their age, but because they are cranking out albums at a very speedy clip. As long as the quality doesn't dip and Bid still has this many great songs up his sleeve, fans of smart, funny, and endlessly loveable guitar pop should leave some space on the shelf for both Maisieworld and whatever the Monochrome Set do next. ~ Tim Sendra
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