The Churchills - The Odds of Winning

The Churchills
The Odds of Winning

(Near)

First Appeared in The Music Box, March 2006, Volume 13, #3

Written by T.J. Simon

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Because it has licensed its music to several prime time television shows (including Scrubs, E.R., Spin City, and The Sopranos), The Churchills has received considerable exposure for its harmony-heavy indie pop. Based upon this hip marketing ploy as well as the overall quality of the ensembleís fourth effort The Odds of Winning, itís clear that the group is on the cusp of something big. The albumís single Iím a Sucker for a Girl in Uniform owes a huge debt to fellow Garden State residents Fountains of Wayne, which is a good thing. The well-produced Sometimes Your Best Isnít Good Enough showcases driving percussion as the bedrock beneath innovative guitar chords and a tinkling keyboard melody. Do You Want Me to Go Away, the outingís best track, introduces cool electronic effects into the bandís rocking mix, and the result is akin to the material on Radioheadís Kid A.

As good as its high points are, however, The Odds of Winning contains several cuts that arenít much better than average. In particular, the title track is generally uninspired, and Unpopular appears to have been written specifically with an eye toward landing a spot on a prime time, teen drama ó which is a likely outcome, considering The Churchillís success at achieving national exposure. Elsewhere, the freaky guitar solo on It Only Hurts When I Breathe mars an otherwise decent song, and the groupís attempt at sounding menacing on Tailspin is unlikely to scare anyone. Yet, despite a handful of missteps, The Odds of Winning is a darn fine power pop album from a band that is likely to be bursting into the mainstream at any moment. starstarstar Ĺ

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Ratings

1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!

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Copyright © 2006 The Music Box