The Changes are a special band... the kind that comes along once every few years and has the ability to rally an entire city and scene behind them. They are the people's band. They are Chicago's band. They are my band and they are your band (even if you don't know it yet). I could tell you about the two critically acclaimed EPs, the sold out four-night residency at Chicago institution Schubas, the Lollapalooza 2005 appearance, or the numerous high profile opening gigs around the city they've played in the past two years, but even that couldn't come close to explaining why The Changes are worthy of your attention.
They're inspired by the '80s, but don't worry. They aren't the latest '80s inspired "buzz band" with a "look" that will be outdated before the ink on their album art dries. In fact, they couldn't be farther from it. They are instead, cute, regular guys who love what they do, exude confidence and fun and are passionate about creating music that will make people smile (and shake their butt). This shines through more clearly than ever on The Changes debut, Today Is Tonight.
Filled with bouncy synths, undeniably catchy hooks and some of the best pop songs to come out of this city in the past decade, this album will take The Changes from Chicago hometown darlings to indie favorites on an international scale. Their recent deal with UK indie Kitchenware (Editors) should help just a little in that department.
Whether or not I compare them to early R.E.M., Steely Dan, or The Police, you won't truly be sold on this band until you put the album in your CD player (or burn it to iTunes) and crank up the volume.
It's not until you hear the inspired yet silky smooth delivery of frontman Darren Spitzer on album closer "When I Sleep," the exceptional and precise guitar work of David Rothblatt on "Such A Scene," or the driving, empowered rhythm section of Rob Kallick (bass) and Jonny Basofin (drums) on personal favorite "Her, You and I," that you'll begin to understand why Chicago's entire indie community has been championing The Changes for almost two years now. Get ready to clear up some space on your "best of 2006" list... The Changes have arrived.