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Musical Content: Giving Up and Sara Lee co-released a cassette which grants each artist a side to feature a few songs. Though a great idea for label mates to get their sounds around, in this case there’s an imbalance. Giving Up ride a nice alt-pop wave courting reasonable comparison to Camper Van Beethoven in sensibility. That’s a good thing. They play with musical conventions on “Over Dressed in Underwear,” bringing a wry smile to the listener. Sara Lee’s work is interesting. There’s an ethos on songs like “Canada” and “Take What You Can Carry” that provide a grey sky to contemplate under. The currently all-too common instrumentation of guitar and drums can wear thin, however. It takes a lot to pull that off and without some serious drama in the arrangements, it’s underachieving.
Packaging and Sound Quality: The cassette itself is lime green with a shiny star lovingly stuck on each side. A delightful booklet with stitch binding contains multi-colored pages of thoughts and images. While Giving Up’s tracks have good production, sound quite clear and are well mixed, Sara Lee’s efforts are indeed lo-fi. the vocals are muddled in guitar treble.
Available from Sophomore Lounge Records