Music News

The Boy Least Likely To

Jof Owen and Pete Hobbs, two of the Least Likely performers in modern pop, are either completely lacking in cynicism or simply better than the average person at hiding it. Their current full-length, The Best Party Ever, available on the Too Young to Die imprint, begins with a song whose title -- "Be Gentle With Me" -- would be treated ironically by the vast majority of rock performers. Not Owen and Hobbs, though. Lyrics such as "I just want to sparkle for a moment/Before I just fizzle out and die" exhibit a certain degree of fatalism, yet when Owen warbles, "I don't mean to be mean," he's shooting straight. True, the willful naiveté at work in "Paper Cuts" and the sing-songy "I'm Glad I Hitched My Apple Wagon to Your Star" won't connect with people who prefer their music to be twee-free, but others are apt to be won over by this twosome's gift for melody and abundantly evident sincerity. The Boys, who ride to the Fox with the Bicycles, may not be the cure for sarcasm, but they're certainly not carriers.