The Weight Is A Gift

Nada Surf

Barsuk, 2005

REVIEW BY: Melanie Love


I wanted to like this album. I really, really did. I fell in love with the endearingly simple "Always Love" after hearing it on the radio one afternoon and immediately grabbed the nearest Post-It to scribble down snippets of the lyrics. One search on Google and 99 cents to iTunes (yes, I download legally!) later, the single became an instant favorite of mine, although I had absolutely no knowledge of the band behind it.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

So, fast forward a bit in our captivating story. After having "Always Love" on repeat for weeks on end, the hype more or less forced me to track down The Weight Is A Gift, Nada Surf's fourth full-length release after a three year absence. My first clue should've been that the album had already been tossed into the discount pile at a normally insanely overpriced music store.

The album does have its high points, like hidden gem "What Is Your Secret" and the subdued sincerity of "Comes A Time," but the rest of the material never remains solid enough to keep my attention. Numerous tracks are barely distinguishable from others, blending into one mishmash featuring all too predictable lyrics like "You gotta be someone you love / to find someone you love" from "Concrete Bed". Even the band seem to have lost interest, proclaiming, "Oh, fuck it / I'm gonna have a party" at least five times in "Blankest Year" barely even after reaching the halfway point of The Weight Is A Gift.

For Nada Surf, who made themselves known on witty, stand-out tracks like their breakthrough hit "Popular", the material on this disc does their previous work no justice. It ends up just meandering along for almost an hour without ever really making any discernible point. While some tracks start off promisingly, like in the oddly monikered "Your Legs Grow," they end up losing steam and falling flat by the end.

The Weight Is A Gift is by no means an awful album. It's the type of disc you'll listen to a few times, pass around to your friends and never really find yourself caring either way if it ultimately gets lost in the shuffle. It's decent, but mediocre, which is always an ominous sign for a still relatively up-and-coming band.

Rating: C+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


© 2006 Melanie Love and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Barsuk, and is used for informational purposes only.