Saturday Looks Good To Me Fill Up The Room

Saturday Looks Good To Me Fill Up The Room
Fill Up the Room is the second release of the year for Fred Thomas and co. after this summer’s Cold Colors EP. Although the Fill Up is Saturday Looks Good To Me’s K debut, you’d be forgiven for mistaking Cold Colors as the K record. While that EP relied largely on experimentation and atmosphere, this album marks a return to SLGTM’s sunny twee. The biggest departure from traditional SLGTM fare is lyrically. Here Thomas has continued in the Cold Colors vein and adopted a loping, intricate style rich in imagery, a far cry from the direct "heart on your” sleeve nature of his more well known work. It’s hard to shake the feeling that Thomas is forcing it a bit, as many of his couplets sound just plain awkward. Where he does pull it off is in his more personal first-person narratives, specifically as sung by Patty Marie Barnes on "Hands In The Snow.” That song is indicative of another major shift in the SLGTM aesthetic — the ditching of the lo-fi, Spector-esque production that SLGTM managed to pull off without sounding overly polished. It’s just as evident on this album as on previous ones that Thomas can write sublime hooks in his sleep. But on Fill Up the Room, it seems like he’s trying to force too much into already promising songs. Notably with "When I Lose My Eyes,” which can’t quite sustain its initially enthralling busy feeling over its six-and-a-half minutes. (K)