The New Planets

We 'R' Us (self-released)

We 'R' Us is a better album than its self-serving title might imply — in fact, it might be one of the best recent South Florida rock releases, period. Chock full of effusive grooves, resilient melodies, and supple hooks, it finds the New Planets in a unique orbit, spinning rings around their local competition. Drawing comparisons to Fountains of Wayne, Rilo Kiley, Death Cab for Cutie, and other bands equally engaging, the New Planets make an immediate first impression that only deepens with each succeeding listen.

A power pop band at its core, the group integrates elements of roots, retro, and Brit rock into these 16 songs. Over the course of a solid hour, the disc zigzags between the spiraling rhythms of "Washing Machine" and "Coming Too," and the all-out exuberance of "I Need Some Space," "Get into You," and "Philosophy." Occasionally it detours into the darker descent of "Memo's," the dreamy desire of "They're Robbing Us," the swampy tangle of "Overdose on Me," and the down-home twang of "I Want Cuba!" Nevertheless, it's the subtle touches that come to the fore: the punctuating rhythms, the cooing harmonies, and songs so skillfully constructed they belie the band's rookie status. "We've got nothing to lose and everything to gain," they proclaim on opening track "Train of Thoughts," and on We 'R' Us, those gains are already evident.

 
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