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Mates of State
"Team Boo"
by: Sun-J

Mates of State's first album, My Solo Project, was a journey into the sound of a husband and wife tandem who dropped the guitars in trade for a chamelian organ. Impacting the richtor scale with great force, My Solo Project set the stage for a perfect sophomore fluke. 2002's Our Constant Concern was just that. Filled with cheesy love cliches and a new sound, Mates of State followed the particular route of all indie-pop rock gems; drop a knockout, then get knocked out. Though, unlike many pop acts, Mates of State weathered the storm, have gotten back up, and released an album that picks up right where My Solo Project left off. Kori Gardner's versatile, vintage organ, and the skillful glide of Jason Hammel's drum kit, survey around the harmonizing cross of the couple's vocals.

Team Boo opens up with "Ha Ha," a perfect hint to listeners that the old sound has returned with its disco groove, pulsing organ and musical segmentation. "Whiner's Bio," features a trumpet which amplifies the vocal marriage (no pun intended) between the love birds. "Open Book," is misleading with its treacherously ample beginning before expanding into a hybrid orchestration behind an emphatic choir sound. "Parachutes(funeral song)," contains a flittering piano melody among a wave of rolling drums and criss-cross vocals, "I'd say I'm better 'cause I lived before I died, At least I know you tried." The next track, "An Experiment," is the standout cut of the album with its steady drumbeat and colorful organ melody, which give it a golden brass touch. In addition, "An Experiment," is perhaps the longest Mates of State song to date, hitting the four-minute mark! (Most Mates of State Tracks are rarely push three minutes.) "I Got This Feelin'" is an entertaining song with subtle organ bass and a surprising driving chorus, "This couldn't be more Ghetto..." The closing ballad, "Separate the People," embellishes the growth of the group, as Hammel takes a back seat to Gardner's milky-sweet vocals. On a side note, "Separate the People," ironically seems to separate the sound, as listeners will see how much more clean "wifey's" vocals are.

Mates of State seem to be the Sonny and Cher of this millennium. They are at their best harmonizing vocally together rather than solo, perhaps a testament to their marriage rather than a diss totheir individual talents. Minus the occasional lovey-dovey,cheesy, bollywood-like, almost make you puke-your0guts-out lyrics one should come to observe as typical for a husband and wife combo (see Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson collaborations.), "I wonder if I could tie the oceanto your knees...," Mates of State without question bounce back from their sophomore slump.



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