Nada Surf
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Nada Surf - Let Go (album released 22.09.02) Inside Of Love (single released 12.05.03) reviewed


From the early dizzying heights of a major label debut album and an MTV friendly hit, Nada Surf have quickly disappeared from the mainstream. Back in 1996 when 'Popular' was causing a stir on MTV and US college radio it was inconceivable that Nada Surf would have to release their second album themselves.
Unfortunately for the Brooklyn trio, this is what occurred. Their third album is released on minor independent label Barsuk Records and if there is any justice it should see them once again add commercial clout to indie credibility.

'Let Go' switches effortlessly from melodic melancholy to Big Star style perfect guitar pop. New single, 'Inside Of Love', borrows the Coldplay formula for creating a beautiful slow burning tearjerker. The insistent rhythm section complements Matthew Caws' versatile, emotive voice. Do not be fooled by the song title, he is not celebrating a relationship, he is bemoaning the lack of one: "I can't find my way in; I try again and again; I'm on the outside of love'.
The previous track, 'Happy Kid' displays another aspect to Nada Surf by combining the opening uplifting guitar chords of a Lightning Seeds tune and adding the always welcome sound of pedal steel. Caws shows that the seeds of sadness that will later serve as great artistic material are already being sown: "I'm just a happy kid; Stuck with the heart of a sad punk."
Nada Surf - Let Go (album released 22.09.02) Inside Of Love (single released 12.05.03) reviewed @ www.contactmusic.com
Nada Surf - Let Go (album released 22.09.02) Inside Of Love (single released 12.05.03) reviewed @ www.contactmusic.com

Each of the twelve songs on 'Let Go' are highlights in their own way, but the songs that rein in the garage rock tendencies are the most affecting. 'Blonde On Blonde' considers how Dylan's album is a 'lullaby, from a giant golden radio', and serves as an equally apt description for much of 'Let Go'. This is evidenced on album closer 'Paper Boats', with it's fragile guitar picking and the captivating warmth of the whispered vocal. Just as the album seems to be fading away the tempo is picked up for the final chorus, and that really sums up 'Let Go', endlessly surprising, but never less than perfect.

Gavin Eves




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