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Bishop Allen: Grrr...



After their earnest 2007 CD, The Broken String, Brooklyn indie-poppers Bishop Allen set out to make a snappier record. Grrr... largely achieves that goal. Though, like all Bishop Allen albums, it is full of intellectual triangulation and heady touchstones ("The Ancient Commonsense of Things" was inspired by a G.K. Chesterton essay), but it also contains plenty of jaunty, riff-heavy compositions, including the album's best: "The Lion & the Teacup," "Oklahoma" and "Don't Hide Away." The group's profile has been raised of late, thanks to placement in a Sony commercial and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, but on Grrr... they stick to what they do best – deep thoughts wrapped in easy melodies. Though one wishes they'd stray from the formula a little bit (what would a Bishop Allen power ballad sound like? A Bishop Allen polka number?), like everything these guys put out, Grrr... is well worth the listen. 4 stars.

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