We gave it a B+
These days, it seems like every twentysomething hipster with a rack full of Beach Boys CDs and a few violin-sawing pals from those high school orchestra years is cranking out impressively ornate ’60s-influenced albums. But too often these well-intentioned souls forget the most important part: writing songs. Not the LONG WINTERS mastermind John Roderick, who has a gift for that magical combination of melody, harmony, rhythm, and texture that adds up to a good tune. No wonder musical luminaries like the Posies’ Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow, R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, and the Minus 5’s Scott McCaughey have lined up to back him on WHEN I PRETEND TO FALL (Barsuk), the Long Winters’ second album. Together they crank out some of the most maddeningly memorable (though, at times, repetitive) indie-pop ditties this side of Bob Pollard.