Release Date: 02.05.08

It's possible that new territory is being explored on Lucky, but it would only be new territory for Nada Surf. Mellowness abounds on the latest release from this Brooklyn trio and it's okay to get older, to transition from a harder rocking band into a new brand of rockin' that might come about from getting married, having children and insurance and the like. For fans of the band, it might be just what the doctor ordered: another ten-track dose of the Surf, never deviating too far from the basic guitar-bass-drum combination, with the last track reserved for a kind of "out of left field" acoustic style song. Same as before, but different.

However, Lucky does not make things easy for the uninitiated to waltz into the world of Nada Surf. The first three songs are all thoughtful, soulful, yet toe-tapping tracks, which, on their own, might make for standout performances. But when I get three or four songs set at an identical tempo, it starts to wear a little thin. My brain wants something else. It wants to hear some Different "same as before, but different." The hottest tracks on Lucky feel so hot because they are the times when the band feels the most alive and aware. "Whose Authority" is not without its charm, but it also feels very played.

The album sounds like the song Nada Surf wanted to record, then did record... about eight times. As mentioned before, that might turn out to be a Godsend for Nada fans. Oddly enough, the album ultimately holds together simply by being smartly constructed by a professional rock band. Nice melodies? Check. Some wonderful Pet Sounds harmonies? Check (especially on "Weightless"). Singable choruses? A reasonable check. Strong chops don't instantly make a great album, but it virtually guarantees a solid one.

Nada Surf