Youth Group - The Night is Ours 

Youth Group's "The Night Is Ours" starts off with the dreamy, woozy "Good Time," which sets the stage for the entire indie-rock album by repeatedly claiming "I had myself a good time, and now I don't feel like myself." The album rarely strays from the area right between the positive feeling of dreaminess and the negative feeling of wooziness.

Some songs swing toward pleasant feelings, as portrayed by the wiry drums and bass of the Interpol-esque "Two Sides." Others, like "All This Will Pass," trend toward desperate musings reminiscent of the Killers' "Sam's Town". But the best songs here are the ones that occupy the space right between, where one mood is turning into the other.

"Babies in Your Dreams" feels like what Andrew Bird would write if he ever got buzzed and goofy, as the precise vocal melodies are contrasted by loose, swaying rhythms in the piano and trumpets. "Friedrichstrasse" is the sound of disorientation, as very little percussion aids the meandering tune. But Youth Group is no one trick pony: "The Sign" relies mostly on percussion to convey the mood, and it's a highlight on the album.

"The Night Is Ours" is an incredibly well-conceived album. The mood is consistent throughout without having repetitive songs. The title plays into that mood. The band plays to their audience by tipping its hat to similar bands (Killers, Interpol, Neutral Milk Hotel) while never falling into hero worship or mimicry. There are hummable songs here, as well as songs fit only for playing within the context of the full album. In short, this is an incredible album that fans of any melodic indie-rock band should get their hands on. "?Stephen Carradini

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