Promoe Under The Same Stars

Death Cab For Cutie cohorts the Prom have a unique sound that could garner them a lot of attention, had Ben Folds kept his mouth shut seven years ago. Under The Same Stars, the second full-length from this Omaha band, is quite a melancholy affair, almost a doppelganger to Folds. The songs lack a sense of humour however, keeping a straight face instead, and produce some wonderfully written lyrics. "Guarantees Aren't Easy" has such great lines as "My actions weren't my intentions/It's just the way it came out/Well, oh well, the alcohol that talks for me never speaks the words you want to hear," but the backing vocals supplying the harmony just sound too familiar. Still, James Mendenhall's vocals are very effective in expressing his witty lyrics, and the simplicity of the line-up sounds a lot fuller than it should. Under The Same Stars is a strong batch of well thought out pop songs that hit a nerve in the romance and drama department. If you can overlook its obvious influences, you get to love this sensitive and enjoyable album. (Barsuk)