The Lexingtons, Isn’t It Nice To Be Loved?/Choose Choice

Published on January 30th, 2011 in: All You Need Is Now, Current Faves, Issues, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By John Lane

Something audacious is happening in the otherwise-inconspicuous state of Rhode Island. The Lexingtons, helmed by their chief Eric Warncke, have taken the plunge that very few bands dare to anymore: the release of a double album, titled (with its yin-yang polarity in check) Isn’t It Nice To Be Loved?/Choose Choice.

lexingtons isn't it nice

In certain circles, Warncke is a well-known Beach Boys/Brian Wilson fanatic and soft-pop enthusiast, so the offerings generously presented here come as no surprise to those familiar with Warncke as friend and champion of such genres.

That said, The Lexingtons genre-hop (is that a legitimate verb?) and there’s as much bubblegum/pop happiness that traverses the ’80s and ’90s as well, with the sugar-sweet “Never Say Something You’ll Later Regret.” With that song, I’m instantly dropped into the middle of a John Hughes film and part of me breaks out in a sweat as I feel like I might very well wake up and be standing amidst a high school mixer again.

A further extension of that vibe occurs with the instrumental “Space Flight is Delayed,” which bears the insistent driving earmarks of a gentler My Bloody Valentine. My favorite tune on this first “disc” of the double album is the infectious “Health is Here!” with a glockenspiel ticking time behind the velvety tones of a female vocalist. It’s life-affirming stuff; the other adjective that applies here is “guileless.”

choose choice

This is a good enough segue to the second “disc,” as long as we’re talking guileless. Warncke takes that sense of joyful innocence—the idea that there are no rules to be broken, just open pastures to be explored—and he expands that with the Choose Choice side of things. I must confess that this is my favorite of the two sides of the coin, as it’s a veritable stew of styles: orchestral pomp (“Born on the Moon”), Motown and funk (“You Gotta Stop”), and sweeping melancholy instrumentals (“Alex’s Melody”).

The song that best represents this disc is “Jacob’s Bird,” with its jangle-y piano summoning up the friendly ghost of Joe Raposo. What The Lexingtons prove here is that music is, at its core, fun. I hope other musicians take note of Warncke as producer and songwriter because he’s quietly gaining on everybody, if not surpassing them outright.

Famous denizens of Rhode Island include The Cowsills, H.P. Lovecraft, and S.J. Perelman. It might be time very soon to acknowledge Eric Warncke among the homegrown talents.

This joyous double album was released in November 2010 and can be downloaded on The Lexingtons’ website.

One Response to “The Lexingtons, Isn’t It Nice To Be Loved?/Choose Choice

  1. Cat:
    February 3rd, 2011 at 5:35 am

    Beautiful review!! I prefer disc one but I would have guessed that you prefer disc two 😉

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