By Team Backbeat
By Amber Taufen
By Jon Solomon
By Tom Murphy
By Jesse Livingston
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Musically, Young & Old also carries more heft than its predecessor without losing the breezy insouciance that made the early Tennis songs so immediately captivating. And yet any time pop music dares to go deeper than surface accessibility, it risks misinterpretation — something that Riley and company seem to brush off with good spirits.
"It'll be a nice thing to see what the common consensus is on what people think the album is about and what meanings they assign to it," says Riley. "'My Better Self' was kind of our homage to the idea of how you can't do anything without the meaning being assigned by another person or taken the wrong way. And the meaning comes and goes, which is something we've had to come to terms with. But I think we're enjoying it now. It's kind of more interesting to us when people can take our songs and add more meaning to them or take away meanings, or take them in a direction we never thought it would go. That makes it fun for us."
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As with any artist or group that reaches a certain level of fame or notoriety, Tennis has had more than its fair share of good, bad and misguided press. Whether show reviews focused on Alaina's appearance, a misidentification of Riley as having once been in the Ataris — along with a review centered on that "fact" — or any number of other humorous or unfortunate bits of information, Tennis has learned to take a philosophical approach to its publicity. "Dealing with all the misinformation has become kind of comical at this point," Riley says, adding, "It's impossible for someone to get the whole picture without knowing us personally or without being there in the recording studio and seeing what's going on.
"In all honesty, if they did, it wouldn't be as good of a picture or as special, because the element of mystery isn't there."
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