On "I Don't Buy It," Patrick Meese asserts, "Every song I make sounds the same to me/ I can't swallow fake/Give it to me straight." Granted, each of the songs are decidedly piano-heavy and similar in tone and texture, but rather than undermine the proceedings, they add to the album's continuity. Less orchestral than Sufjan Stevens but every bit as sophisticated and engaging, the singer-songwriter deftly fills out eloquent arrangements with his lush vocals, which at times recall the breathy delivery of Fray protegé Isaac Slade ("The Pulse of the Song") and the soft timbre of Paul Simon ("You're Already Here" and "Twice My Weight"). More than half of the songs on this EP appeared on I Don't Buy It, Meese's solo disc, issued earlier this year. Since then, Meese has become a group effort, and with these new recordings, the act has managed to deliver one of the year's most impressive discs. I'm sold, anyway. -- Dave Herrera


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