Under Review: La Sera – La Sera

It looks like the girl-group revival thing is here to stay. Strictly speaking, though, La Sera is the project of “Kickball” Katy Goodman, bassist for the until-recently wayward Vivian Girls. As she is a member of one of the earliest groups of the trend, you’d expect a high level of musical expertise from Goodman and, on La Sera, she delivers. Just like almost every album released by Goodman’s peers last year, La Sera has a lofty task of standing out from countless similarly hazy and retro projects even before the first note. Goodman wastes no time in any of her songs, which makes for a thoroughly quick listen. Clocking in at barely over 25 minutes, the album is not so much a breakneck exercise as it is a collection of songs that get right to their poppy points.

La Sera’s brevity is alternately a blessing and a curse for the songs contained within. Standouts like “Never Come Around” and “Left This World” seem to be over before they even get going, but less impactful tunes don’t stand in the way too much. Despite their brevity, Goodman’s songs make plenty of room for the hallmarks of well-crafted pop. A slippery slide guitar creates an outdoorsy feel in “Under The Trees” and the swirling “Devils Hearts Grow Gold” show off the impressive arrangements of the Vivian Girls’ videographer, Brady Hall. Perhaps La Sera’s greatest accomplishment is that it far surpasses the Vivian Girls’ lackluster second album. Though early tastes of their new record are quite promising, Goodman would be smart to keep this La Sera thing going. Duration be damned, these songs were built to last. This is one girl group revival you won’t change your mind about liking.

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~ by E. on February 18, 2011.

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