Overcome by Happiness

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June 05, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

As the singer-guitarist for the defunct Scud Mountain Boys, Joe Pernice played slight, country-tinged lite-rock. Now he’s moved on to another overdone subgenre with Overcome by Happiness: string-laden retro-pop. This time, how- ever, the results are surprisingly strong. His new band’s elegant piano foundation, irony-free songwriting, and musical debt to Nick Drake and Brian Wilson make them sound like a Ben Folds Five for adults. A-

Overcome by Happiness

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Overcome by Happiness

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