Fergus & Geronimo have created an album the likes of which so many other artists have tried and failed. Unlearn functions both as nostalgia and tribute to a bygone era in rock and roll, but the boys from Denton still manage to put their unique stamp on it. It's not difficult to imagine that the band-members had a conversation as follows:

  • F: So what should we try to sound like?
  • G: The 60's
  • F: Which part of the 60's?
  • G: All of it!

My Texas brethren have produced a wonderfully diverse album. 'Girls with English Accents' sets the tone straight away; the guitars wouldn't be out of place on a lost track by The Turtles or The Byrds, but the way the vocals are structured is distinctly more contemporary.

Then we have 'Wanna Know What I Would Dâ', which engages in all the excess of Woodstock jam bands (including a lead flute), but has a wry wit that definitely comes from our modern age of irony, not from hippie sincerity. There are tracks like 'Unlearn' and 'Powerful Love' which refer more explicitly to their original inspiration (in this case old-school Motown).

All this diversity does have the drawback that you can guess right away what the singles will be. The first potential single, 'Michael Kelly', exemplifies the band at their best, shoe-gaze meets the Doors meets Deerhunter (seriously, this is an awesome song, unpredictable and ever-rewarding to listen to). Then we have two songs that are too obviously derivative, not of the 1960's, but of Vampire Weekend, for some odd reason.

But apart from these missteps, Fergus & Geronimo have made a great album that will remain in rotation for some time. Unlearn is a lot of fun, and has the distinction of improving with every listen.

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