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CD Review: The Boy Least Likely To – The Best Party Ever

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I feel as if everybody (or at least every indie kid and compulsive Pitchfork reader) has already heard The Boy Least Likely To. Didn’t everyone and their dogs already give this record two thumbs up last fall, around the time of its release in the UK? It’s easy to assume that only cheapskates and those afraid of the Man have waited for the United States release to get their admission to The Best Party Ever; yet an album as sweet and playful as this deserves all of the attention it can get.

The Best Party Ever does not capture what a person quintessentially thinks of as a party: there are no sexy bump and grind tracks, Busta Rhymes never shows up to pass you some name-brand brandy, nor are there any tracks which encourage a listener to pack a bowl and then pick a fight with your new straight-laced girlfriend. And maybe those reasons are exactly why The Boy Least Likely To really have captured the best party ever. Their music takes the listener back to a childhood where everything was straightforward and bittersweet like dark chocolate frosting. There is the fearfulness of leaving the familiar (“Monsters” and “I See Spiders When I Close My Eyes”), the joy of simply being with a best friend (“I’m Glad I Hitched My Apple Wagon to Your Star”) and a large dose of mid-afternoon recess sweetness (“My Tiger My Heart”). The singular evocativeness of this first record from The Boy Least Likely To is a startling, welcome relief from the all-inclusive nature of most popular music.

In fact, the only downside is that for more jaded listeners, The Best Party Ever can be too cutesy. This is not a record for the kids who used to knock the heads off of other kids’ snowmen. Nor is it for those monster kids who liked to throw rocks at the neighbor’s dog. This is a record for the shy, still awkward people who want to remember a time when their journal entries were overwhelmingly positive and simple. The Best Party Ever may not be a total escape from reality, but it is a cloud of relaxation – and if that wasn’t worth the import prices, then it should definitely be worth picking up now that it’s Stateside.

Reviewed by Megan Giddings

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