Editors' pick

Good Old War

Folk/Bluegrass
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Editorial Review

GOOD OLD WAR
Album review: "Come Back as Rain"
By Moira E. McLaughlin
Friday, Apr. 27, 2012

Good Old War's third full-length album, "Come Back as Rain," doesn't diverge from the band's signature indie-folk, nice-guy sound. The trio from Philadelphia has been making music since 2008 that is marked by tight harmonies, catchy melodies and heart-on-your-sleeve lyrics.

The tune "Over and Over," with its acoustic guitar and bongo drum sounds, screams "summer folk festival in the sun." That easygoing good mood is carried throughout the album. The single released this winter, "Calling Me Names," is a simple, sway-inducing tune that comes complete with built-in rhythmic clapping. Such songs might be predictable and a little square, but they feel perfect for the longer, lighter days ahead. And if the album is a summer day, the song "Not Quite Happiness" is the sweet, fleeting ice cream cone. The 2 1 / 2-minute track is evocative and sensitive, with just the right vocal buildup that will leave listeners begging for more.

The lyrics come from earnest-sounding guys trying to make their way through the maze of youth and the complexities of love. At times, that makes for cheesy lyrics about "amazing eyes" and "better weather" but also for the kind of lyrics that most everyone can relate to.

Ultimately, the album is a display of less is more. The simple production allows the band's forte - lovely, warm vocals - to shine through. It's a singalong album in the best sense.