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Record Review - The Ruby Suns: Fight Softly

Sub Pop

Enough with the Animal Collective worship. Fight Softly is a disappointing follow-up to Aussie Ryan McPhun's fantastic '08 breakthrough, Sea Lion. A fundamental disconnection separates the music's tone, structure and arrangements from a softly flailing voice that sounds only vaguely aware of what's going on around it. The effect of such a split is like watching a movie where the overdub doesn't synch up with the lips. Making things more difficult, the record never breaks from wallowing in aimless naivety. "Mingus and Pike," "Cranberry" and "Dusty Fruit" are the strongest numbers on the album, because they recall Animal Collective's stuttering, synthetic ways with exactitude. All of the tropical rhythms and obtusely catchy melodies are sacrificed here in a round of unrelenting mimicry. 2 out of 5 stars.