Trails and Ways – Own It: Were you looking for me or just really for my estate?

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Artist: Trails and Ways
Album: Own It
Year: 2016
Grade: B-

In Brief: The sunny, catchy indie pop vibe is still there, but the shared lead vocals, strong harmonies, and smatterings of Portuguese lyrics are pretty much a thing of the past. That makes it a lot harder for Trails and Ways to stand out among the crowd, when they once did so effortlessly.

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Green Day – Revolution Radio: I put the “riot” in patriot.

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Artist: Green Day
Album: Revolution Radio
Year: 2016
Grade: B

In Brief: While it’s not as ambitious as American Idiot or 21st Century Breakdown, I appreciate the return to writing songs in that vein, and the result is a far more listenable record than their 2012 trilogy. While the subject matter is a mixed bag, I’m finding most of the songs to be quite cathartic in the midst of a post-election malaise.

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Trails and Ways – Pathology: NorCal Meets South America

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Artist: Trails and Ways
Album: Pathology
Year: 2015
Grade: B+

In Brief: The retro/urban/South American take on indie pop that won me over on the Trilingual EP is alive and well on the band’s first full-length LP, with a few of that EP’s highlights reprised (and one radically reimagined) here. The new songs largely follow suit, though most of them are in a mellower vein, causing the group’s otherwise addictive sound to run a little closer to the middle of the road than I was hoping for at times. Still, this is a sunny summer record with a strong south-of-the-equator flavor, and I love it for that.

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Trails and Ways – Covers Tape: The Clandestine History of Oceans Lost and Found

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Artist: Trails and Ways
Album: Covers Tape EP
Year: 2013
Grade: A-

In Brief: Trails and Ways’ sunny, Brazilian indie pop sound, as applied to covers of songs I’ve never heard of, displays admirable versatility as they translate different genres into their own musical (and sometimes literal) language.

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