In the world of independent music, the easiest way for a band to seem forward thinking is often for them to look backward. Some of the most critically acclaimed indie records of the last decade have all prescribed to this formula; the Hold Steady's "Boys And Girls In America" drew heavily from the back catalogs of Bruce Springsteen and was almost universally beloved. Radiohead's self-released "In Rainbows" was hailed as being the most Radiohead-sounding Radiohead record since 1995's "The Bends." Fleet Foxes' self-titled debut ended 2008 as the number one album on hype.com, an web site which forms its ratings based on those of thousands of other critical sources, and it was a record that seamlessly blended the Americana-rock textures of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young with the harmony-laden pastiche of the Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds."
(2009 Feb 19 / Matthew Martell)
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