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Pop / Rock
The Soft Pack’s pop rock foundations are undeniably still present—nine of the songs don’t break three minutes and from the first seconds of glorious album opener “Saratoga” it’s obvious they haven’t abandoned the fuzz. That said, they’ve also spent a lot of time listening to Denim, Momus, The Church, YAZ, Grace Jones, INXS, Carole King, Lee Hazelwood, The Byrds, and Elton John. “Bobby Brown” is an icy new wave number, whose saxophone solo is just one of several horn appearances on Strapped. For “Head on Ice,” they layer on the dark atmospherics and capture a spiraling sense of doom. Maybe the most surprising cut on Strapped is album ender “Captain Ace,” a jubilant space cruiser that jams out to nearly the seven-minute mark. Enjoy the ride.