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David Wax Museum (from the album You Must Change Your Life available on Nine Mile Records) (by Lee Zimmerman)
It’s refreshing to find a band that’s so full of joy and exuberance that they find no shame in aiming for a sound that simulates perfect Pop. Like The Beach Boys, The Kinks, and other outfits of a ‘60s vintage, their only intent is to engage and inspire their listeners through their effusive melodies and plenty of buoyant bombast.
Nine albums on, the band — helmed by David Wax and Suz Slezak, each an accomplished multi-instrumentalist — are flush with inspiration and exuberance. However, in the case of the tellingly-titled You Must Change Your Life, there’s a deeper message shared as well. In the aftermath of a heart attack, Wax found himself lying helplessly on a stretcher while waiting to be taken to the hospital. At that moment, he had a revelation that would eventually morph into the theme of a new album overall.
The title track opens the album and establishes the mood, with Wax solemnly setting the stage by intoning the words ‘you must change your life’ before the song erupts into an exhortation that apparently puts things in perspective:
‘Going through to the motions
Trying to pay the bills
Nothing too fancy…
Nothing’s really clicking
You’re in a funk
Feeling like an iceberg
That just lost a chunk…
You must change your life…’
While the songs that follow aren’t quite as robust in that regard, they do offer an optimistic assessment of the good things life still has to offer. “Best Lover”, “Luanne”, “Ahualulco”, and “Only Ones Awake” offer a fanciful world view, each accompanied by easy, engaging melodies and an absolute assurance that rings and resonates throughout. ‘Think hard before you break it apart, your hearts a piñata, Keep swinging in the dark eventually you’ll hit the mark’ David Wax Museum promise on the aptly dubbed “Your Heart’s a Piñata”. It’s followed by the hushed atmospheric allure of “Go Break Some Hearts”, further indication of the affirmation that underscores their efforts. So too, when they take a slight south of the border excursion, ala the aforementioned “Ahuluco” as well as the tellingly titled “Back to Mexico,” the celebratory sounds remain solidly in sync with an eager intent.
Ultimately, David Wax Museum deserve credit for providing the proof that Pop music needn’t be considered fickle, foolish, or devoid of relevance and wisdom. You Must Change Your Life may not be as life-changing as the title suggests, but it can be considered a revelation all on its own. (by Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of David Wax Museum from AMAZON
For more information, please visit the David Wax Museum website
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