Like a vintage edition of Reader's Digest, the lyrics heard throughout Population, the latest disc by The Most Serene Republic, are capable of increasing the average person's word power. "Solipsism," "entropy," "declamations" and "neurasthenia" are only a few of the terms that prove these brainy Canucks attended their college classes and actually paid attention. The music's equally smart, as "Present of Future End" demonstrates. But if the jazzy keyboard soloing by Ryan Lenssen that animates "A Mix of Sun and Cloud" or the dizzying vocal line that traces its way through "Multiplication Desks" suggests straight-A students who are still looking for extra credit, the players' creative energy and enthusiasm makes their chronic overachieving easier to take. For the men and women of The Most Serene Republic, music is a quiz, and they're determined to ace it.
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