After a four-year hiatus, New York trio Nada Surf returns with its third, and arguably best, studio effort.
After a four-year hiatus, New York trio Nada Surf returns with its third, and arguably best, studio effort. With Let Go, frontman Matthew Caws has matured into an astute singer/songwriter, crafting compositions that sparkle with insightful melodic brilliance far beyond the band's anthemic "indie-geek" hit "Popular" (from the group's 1996 major-label debut, High/Low). Let Go is a more harmonious and introspective alterna-pop affair, reflecting a wide variety of influences, including Frank Black, Coldplay ("Inside of Love," "Neither Heaven Nor Space"), Simon & Garfunkel, Sugar ("Treading Water"), Air ("La Pour Ca"), and Beck ("Fruit Fly"). Throughout, though, Nada Surf remains unique; its quirky sensibility has not been lost—nor has the outfit's power-pop roots. Cuts like "The Way You Wear Your Head" and the quasi-'80s synth-rock-inspired "Hi-Speed Soul" burst with explosive rhythms and infectious melodies that rival recent output by Foo Fighters and the Vines. Nostalgic and current, hazy and vibrant, Let Go is a sumptuous collection that gets better with each listen.—CR