One can almost foresee the tone of the multitudinous interviews that will follow the release of this new Folk Implosion album. Interviewer asks Lou Barlow one of two questions: ""Major label?"" ""Bigger sound?"" To which Barlow will respond: ""Not much of a difference, we really like the people."" ""It's really a natural progression. I don't think it sounds that much different."" And this will happen every time. Every time. Which is really unfortunate. Because to paint One Part Lullaby with the same tired and gray indie rock brush that earlier ventures by Barlow were painted with is an egregious error. As much as his ""other"" band Sebadoh has expanded their sound and increased their fidelity, and as much as his ""lo-fi"" reputation built on cassettes and one-off recording projects has diminished, all that is nothing compared to the slap-in-the-face that is the bold, invigorating sound of One Part Lullaby. Hell, this new Folk Implosion album doesn't even sound like any other Folk Implosion album.
Thickly constructed, melodically rich, and thoroughly well-conceived, Barlow and fellow Implosionist John Davis have concocted a true '90s guitar pop album. Undercut with layered rhythm tracks and accented by a shifting menagerie of effects and unique instrumentation, this album, more so than any rollicking Sebadoh effort, demonstrates that Barlow's pop skills have exponentially increased. That the album is built upon a solid compositional base is ample proof of that. But the fact that the compositions are centered around resonant harmonies (see ""Back to the Sunrise"") and interwoven melodies (""Easy L.A."") drives the point home even further.
However, one of the most telling tracks here is actually an instrumental (""Serge""). With Barlow's trademark voice absent, it reveals a rich, complex, and very nearly pretty aspect to the album. The thing is, it's not that much of an anomaly, since the basic tone of the track resonates throughout the rest
of the album. Thus, if it's quirky, scratchy indie rock you're searching for, move on. It ain't here. But if you need dense and thoroughly modern pop, you're in the right place.