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As lovely a listen as exists

The Beginning of the End of the World
The Beginning of the End of the World
By This Holiday Life

7 Spin Music: 2007

Buy it now

This review first appeared in Turbula in January 2008.

Encinitas' This Holiday Life's new album – at least their third record, and maybe their fourth – continues their impressive run of turning out top-quality power pop better than most anything you'll hear on the radio. Equal parts U2 and Squeeze, "The Beginning of the End of the World" is a near-perfect balance between dramatic tension and pure ear candy. Perfect construction, luxuriant melodies, textured arrangements – when you put Scott Anderson's oh-so-smooth vocals atop all that, it's as winning a pop formula as any band in the county has going for it.

The 10 tracks here contain at least two songs that would be radio hits if only a major label was pushing this stellar outing: "A Yes, Not a No" has the sort of hypnotic stickiness that marked the best work of Crowded House. "Mission Control to My Heart" rocks a bit harder, but is as lovely a listen.

The rest of the album isn't as strong as those two songs, but is still far more interesting, more listenable than the best music most bands will ever put out.

This is the band's best release yet, and if earlier predictions of fame and fortune have yet to find This Holiday Life, that only speaks to the folly of a music industry that would rather foist Mariah Carey on an unsuspecting public.