John Maus Songs

John Maus is an ’80s-obsessed lo-fi jokester who arranges his tongue-in-cheek songs with the same schmaltzy retro charm as the now considerably famous friend he often works with, Ariel Pink. Like some obscure golden ’80s hit machine, Maus moves through his simple, synth-led songs with swagger to spare, singing lines like: "I need money for bills and stuff / It’s time to get a job” and "No one loves the cowgirl/especially not in a sick and twisted way” with a mock seriousness that adds to their ironic charm. For the most part, Maus uses synths and drum machines to craft his warped four-track visions, throwing in the occasional cheesy guitar solo for effect. He certainly doesn’t possess the otherworldly lo-fi abilities Ariel Pink does, but most of his songs are whimsical and inspired enough to hold up nicely over repeated listens, even if the sameness of Songs makes it a tough album to get all the way through at times. (Fanatic)