The Lovely Sparrows Bury the Cynics

The Lovely Sparrows Bury the Cynics
Austin, TX's the Lovely Sparrows are a hard band to pin down. The group are the brainchild of Shawn Jones, who has used the name to house a revolving door of musicians and their dense, layered, folk-tinged baroque pop sound is reminiscent of usual suspects Nick Drake and Neutral Milk Hotel. Everything on the group's debut is in its right place — lilting acoustic guitar, off-the-beaten path instruments and cute, observational lyrics for songs with titles like "Teenage Viking" — with tracks slowly building to climaxes as new elements join along the way. But for some reason nothing really sticks around after the record is over, with the exception of "Year of the Dog." Buried deep on the record, the track starts out like much of the rest of the Sparrows' songs but turns into a brilliant, swinging pop anthem. More inspired writing like this would have made Bury the Cynics a fun and engaging record. Instead it comes off like Teflon. (Abandoned Love)