From the release of their debut album, High/Low, to the release of their third album, Let Go, Nada Surf went from one-hit wonders to musical geniuses. "Popular" was a good song and all, but definitely not the stuff careers are made of. What is? The perfection known as Let Go. From start to finish, Let Go was one of the best records released in 2003 and as soon as it hit shelves, it became an instant classic. Cult-like status was quickly bestowed upon the band as they sold out shows across the country in support of the album. Now, at the artistic pinnacle of their career, Nada Surf have returned with The Weight Is A Gift. By continuing to mix addictive melodies and perfect harmonies with thoughtful, inspiring, and profound lyrics, Nada Surf have created an album that reads like the next book in an epic series that begun with Let Go. It is to Let Go what the Two Towers was to the Fellowship Of The Ring... if you will (any other Hobbit-loving nerds out there?).
Songs like the atmospheric "Your Legs Grow" and the slow lullaby of a tune, "Comes A Time", could easily have been pulled off of the band's last effort, but it's tracks like the revved-up, electric guitar-led, falsetto-filled "Blankest Year" and the insanely amazing opus "Do It Again" that find Nada Surf somehow taking giant strides forward both musically and lyrically. The three minute and thirty-eight second "Do It Again" starts out with the growl of Daniel Lorca's bass, slips into a melodic verse about a love-struck man suffering from sleepless nights who wants to re-kindle a fading relationship, and then explodes into a bombastic chorus of epic proportions, continuing into a layered bridge with vocal parts from each section of the song sung on top of one another. It's here where the most profound lyrics of the entire album spring to life. Not coincidentally, it's from these lyrics that the band pulled the title of the album. Basically, the gist of it is that the heavy situations in life (be it relationships, which it is in this case, or work, or family struggles, etc.) are a blessing that prove to a person just how strong they really are and, like the old saying goes... what doesn't kill ya makes ya stronger. On the track, Matthew Caws sings, amid a flurry or musical energy, "Maybe this weight was a gift / Like I had to see what I could lift" over and over again. This remarkable new album is indeed a gift from a band that is quickly becoming one of my all time favorites.