BY Andrew SteenbergPublished Nov 1, 2004

Brevity isn’t necessarily requisite of a good pop song, but it certainly helps. Archive, an always good and occasionally great band, obviously don’t agree. Five of the eleven songs on Noise, their fourth album, exceed the six-minute mark, one of which seriously threatens to enter double digits before bowing out just three seconds shy. Barring the dross lyrics, all of them sound nice; for a while. The dulcet "Asleep” comes across like Britpop being dragged into the electronic age, while "Get Out” is essentially Oasis’s "Stop Crying Your Heart Out.” And gumption tells us that there are better songs to nick from those knighted lords of thievery. Plus, Britpop singles rarely went on for seven minutes; Archive does. On just about every song, Archive come close to flooring you with subtle cadences and sublime coloratura, but then ruin things by injecting lyrics or neglecting to press the stop button soon enough.

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