CD review: No Second Troy's 'Colors'

On "Colors," No Second Troy sing pop-rock tunes with an edge of realism.
On "Colors," No Second Troy sing pop-rock tunes with an edge of realism. (Joshua Cogan)
Friday, April 30, 2010



Kindred spirits: Kings of Leon, Coldplay

Show: With the Reserves and Soft Complex on Saturday at the Black Cat. Show starts at 9 p.m. 202-667-4490.

There's something very charming about the melancholy that permeates No Second Troy's latest release, "Colors." The D.C.-based quintet effortlessly conveys the ennui of early adulthood without sounding mopey or solipsistic. These songs are, at their core, sweet pop-rock tunes; they're just infused with a sense of realism and truth.

"Colors" features many songs about relationships, but the group still finds something new to say on the subject. The album standout is the thoughtful "Leap of Faith," in which lead singer Jeff Wharen's vulnerability sounds as if he's both pleading with someone specific and wondering whether that special someone will ever appear. Elsewhere, the group ponders first-time fatherhood with the fragile, lo-fi "Golden Age" and tackles the imperfection of relationships in the catchy, up-tempo "The Black and White Movie."

With so many evocative, relatable songs, it's unfortunate that the group included several interludes that disrupt the album's flow. "Colors" begins with a short instrumental piece, closes with a goofy keyboard jam and includes random conversations and comments among band members. Although these quirky insights into the musicians' personalities are unusual, the moments add an amateur feel to an otherwise compelling and vivid collection.

-- Catherine P. Lewis

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