Music News

Nada Surf

On 2002's Let Go, Nada Surf's Matthew Caws wanted "to know what it's like on the inside of love." On his act's latest effort, The Weight Is a Gift, it sounds like he's spent much of the past three years on the inside -- and it hasn't been all sunshine and flowers. From firing the leading lady in his life ("What Is Your Secret?") to musing "I saw life turn into a TV showŠ The person I knew I didn't really know" ("Blankest Year"), Caws obviously endured his share of turbulence. Pure pop gems like "Imaginary Friends" break up the melancholy, but the album's darker cuts ("Comes a Time," "Your Legs Grow") are its best, when moody melody and chill-inducing harmonies leave you heavy-hearted and profoundly satisfied. The only thing separating Weight from perfection is the inconsistency of Caws's lyrics, which can go from sparkling and enigmatic and thought-provoking to movie-of-the-week cliche in the same verse. Still, Nada fans -- save the misguided few holding their breath for a redux of "Popular," the 1996 chart-topper that launched the band's career -- will be pleased with their Gift.
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Maya Kroth