Although John Roderick's voice veers noxiously close to sounding like David Lowery's, the summery style he's nailed with The Long Winters (how's that for a nifty literary device?) more than makes up for that near-disaster. Thanks primarily to the massive influx of guest talent, Pete Buck, Jon Auer, Chris Walla, Scott McCaughey, Ken Stringfellow, plus about a dozen other people, Roderick's breezy swoon bounces along like all the best power pop. But his angular style and arch lyricism ultimately gives it a personality all its own and, whether it's the self-referential "Blue Diamonds" or the self-loathing "Prom Night At Hater High," "When I Pretend to Fall" winds up being surprisingly cohesive.
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