February 26, 2008
The album opener is ‘Hey Now’ is the updated (though in my eyes, not upgraded) version of a previously released demo under the title ‘Heart Shaped Gun’. They slowed down the song and changed the lyrics slightly. This might work for an acoustic version, and the song still has some strength, but personally I think it sounds quite a bit better when it’s more up-tempo. I am still finding myself singing along to the song, so there must be some kind of catchiness to it. I guess the song’s not too bad and it builds up momentum well, but both musically & lyrically I think ‘Heart Shaped Gun’ was stronger. It had a little more guts.
‘I Still Ain’t Over You’ is a very strong track. The song is 1000x better live (check out the SXSW acoustic), but the studio version still has that catchy loop going and it comes out beautifully. The right tempo for this song. And the lyrics, though a bit cliche in the chorus, are well-written.
Next is the lead single ‘Sweet & Low’, which is extremely catchy and a perfect radio song. After one or two listens you can sing along the whole thing and it’s not too monotonous yet very catchy. Great “stuck in your head song”.
It’s a nice treat to hear this EP, but it only makes me want to hear the album more. I guess that’s the purpose and therefore this was a smart move. Augustana sounds like they are in their prime and I can’t wait to hear the rest of the album.