Birds Make Good Neighbors





In a perfect world, Merge Records would have the omnipresent power of Sony or Universal because pop music would be defined by albums like The Arcade Fire's Funeral, Spoon's Some Fiction, Portastatic's Bright Ideas and now, The Rosebuds' Birds Make Good Neighbors. Without a "look" or a stylist or a team of "hitmakers" making every creative decision, these bands would dominate the commercial landscape because the public could judge great music by one simple factor - artistic merit. But for the husband and wife team of Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp, the world in which we live doesn't seem to matter much. They didn't rise to stardom via a televised and over-produced talent show, but that doesn't change the fact that Ivan and Kelly write thoughtful, catchy and soothing three minute pop songs that, if nothing else, makes them happy. Thankfully though, their collaborative songwriting process and symbiotic musical relationship results in more than just a marital therapy session. However, something tells me that even if they didn't record and release music with one another, visitors to their Raleigh, North Carolina, home would still find Ivan and Kelly making beautiful music together. Birds Make Good Neighbors won't change the world. No. Its release won't result in a sweeping reform of the endless string of poo that seems to ooze out of the many labels with the music = widgets mentality or cause the public in general to shun shows like American Idol, because this is not a perfect world. But the cool and collected ode to love "Boxcar", the driving march of "Leaves Do Fall", the go-go dancing, hip swinging "Outnumbered" and the jazzy Euro-esque croon of "Warm Where You Lay" alone make Birds Make Good Neighbors a record that can, if only for an instant, give the listener a glimpse of hope that better days are yet to come.

The Rosebuds
Merge Records

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Birds Make Good Neighbors