Whenever someone mentions the Paperbacks, people tend to get a dreamy look on their faces. Lit From Within is the latest offering from the Manitoba band—and it’s a beauty. It’s a double album comprised of 32 tracks that ensures you get your money’s worth: it’s all killer, no filler.
With only two original members left (vocalist Doug McLean and bassist Jaret McNabb) the album is somewhat of a rebirth for the band. Opening up to an endless landscape, the sounds are at times sparse, leaving room for only for McLean’s sublime voice to fill the void.
One standout track is “Good Lives” a gentle introduction to the first 15 songs. The album then kicks it up a notch with “Stars,” a more energetic track. The album continues with this waves of tunes, some full of exuberance for life, others mournful and despairing of past mistakes. There’s rarely a dull moment.
The second disc follows in much the same vein: equally impressive though wanting in brevity at times.
Although the Paperbacks have been through a number of line-up changes, it’s surprising that the indie rock group hasn’t garnered more fame and critical acclaim. Lit From Within is a laid back gem—perfect for a Sunday afternoon. Highly recommended.