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Album review: Smith Westerns' 'Soft Will'

Sure, it’s pretty, but the punk rock band goes a little too glam

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★★★

If you thought these kids took a big T. Rex turn with their last LP, prepare yourself for total liftoff into the dreamy, halcyon heavens of the 1970s. A complete break from their punk roots, this record rolls out like feathered, golden locks in slo-mo and zero gravity. Unquestionably, this glam baby is luxe and beautiful (especially the epic teenage swoons of “Fool Proof” and “Varsity”). But it also lacks the residual punk vitality of the near-perfect Dye It Blonde. Despite its endless loveliness, Soft Will is too straightly derivative. And that’s not really good enough for a band this talented.

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