Editors' pick

The Fresh & Onlys, Quilt

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Editorial Review

Broken heart fights to be heard
By Ben Opipari
Friday, November 9, 2012

Don’t let the up-tempo beat of the first track on the Fresh and Onlys’ new album fool you: Singer Tim Cohen is heartbroken. Sure, there are happily strummed guitars on “20 Days & 20 Nights,” but his words are clear: “For 20 days and 20 nights/ thinking of better times . . . I think I want to let it out/ so I cry.”

The album, “Long Slow Dance,” is musical yin and yang: lyrics about frustrated romance over riffs and melodies with sunny dispositions. Take the title track, an acoustically driven mid-tempo song with layered electric guitar and the lyric “True love will drag out across the yard and set fire to your home.”

“Long Slow Dance” is a guitar album that often draws from such ’80s alternative bands as the Cure and Gene Loves Jezebel, though the strongest similarities are to Echo and the Bunnymen. The Fresh & Onlys also are known for their psych-pop prowess, as evident on the title track, with its Byrdsian sounds of jangly guitars and tambourines, and on “Dream Girls” and “Executioner’s Song” with their country flair.

“Euphoria,” revisits Cohen’s opening tension. The track is 2 minutes and 35 seconds of aggressive guitars and feedback, and the lyric “Let me put you in a headlock baby and whisper sweet things in your ears.” But Cohen seems to soften a bit by the final track, “Wanna Do Right by You,” when he sings, “I wanna do right by you and not do bad like I always do.”