Canadian group The Reason continue to expand their more Southern-drenched rock sound in their latest effort Fools. Having traded in their angular post-hardcore, emo-tinged sounds of their earliest years, the direction continues to benefit their craft to great effect. A remarkable step up from their 2004 debut, Ravenna, the new work is a distinct improvement in almost every audible category from the harmonies, to the song textures, to the crisp sounding production. Vocalist Adam White is not far from Caleb Followil’s Tennessee-drawl, giving the listener an immediately recognizable vocal tone and accessible entry point to the music.
Opener “Come & Go” paints an incredible aural picture for the rest of the album. A mid tempo number with skittering percussions and White’s haunting voice, it’s as good as an introduction as any. Their continued mastering of the indie rock landscape continues well in “Where Do We Go From Here?” and great closing “The Longest Highway Home.” They adopt piano-driven aesthetics in “Work With Me” giving them a new palette to work with, the results here are mixed as the song tends to waver to more dream-pop surroundings. “That’s All I Know” however, is the perfect tune- beautifully written and constructed; it’s a warm but caustic track about the roller coaster uncertainties of relationships.
There are no overwhelming apexes in Fools, but no disappointing low points either. Their songs about love, lonely highways and cross-country trains are every bit soaked with the shine of a clear moonlit evening. Fools was a long time coming for the band, and with it comes a genuinely good rock record. (Anthem/Warner Music)