This past week, I've listened to this album in its entirety about 15 or 16 times. I'm probably listening to it as you read this. I keep thinking I'll get bored of it, but I don't, the songs just grow on me even more. That fact alone is enough for me to call it, without a doubt, the best album of 2011 so far.
Back in 2009, Smith Westerns released their self-titled debut, which consisted of 10 very lo-fi, noisy tunes with upbeat melodies and a reckless sound that totally gave off the vibe of teenagers just having fun. Not only does Dye It Blonde show maturity, but it's also cleaned up and polished their rough sound, while still sounding alive with tons of color. The seemingly effortless distorted guitar riffs on every single track have created a trademark sound for the band, while the overbearing happiness on tracks like Imagine Pt. 3, Only One, and Smile makes me feel like my face is melting off. In a good way, of course. Plus, the traditional pop melodies and cheesy love lyrics make this album feel almost nostalgic.
The only thing keeping Dye It Blonde from excelling even further is the loose and weak vocals. Although I have to say, they do fit the youthful spirit of the album pretty well. The songs End of the Night and Dance Away seemed a little empty at first, but after several listens, I find that they fit perfectly with all the other pop brilliance going on.
With an album devoid of fillers, Smith Westerns make it to the top of my list for bands that I have high hopes for in the future. It's hard to choose between an 8 and 8.5 for this one, but considering that I can't stop listening to it, I'll give it the latter.
2. Still New
3. Imagine Pt. 3
4. All Die Young
5. Fallen In Love
6. End of the Night
7. Only One
9. Dance Away
10. Dye the World