The indie-pop-will-conquer-all punch of Papas Fritas (a.k.a. Pop Has Freed Us) lies in the vocal back-and-forth between drummer-vocalist Shivika Asthana and guitarist-vocalist Tony Goddess. "Buildings and Grounds'" highlight is "It's Over Now," a delicate ballad that highlights Asthana's disarming vocal talents, as well as the band's heart-stopping ability to write a descending melody line. But the song also illustrates the problem underlying all of the band's recordings: flaccid lyrics. Still, in spite of that weakness, these are truly incredible songs that work.
That problem exemplifies the double-edged sword of writing pop, and the Fritas cut themselves all the harder because they play "first-person roulette" so successfully for three-fourths of the recording. But the lyrical ideas are just too large and anonymous, and the music doesn't stand up to earlier flights of genius.
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