Talented Des Moines band The Nadas has just released its seventh, and best, LP, “Almanac.” The band gives the album a unique format: Each song was a monthly effort to chronicle that point in time and give an overview of their experiences throughout 2009.
With vocals somewhat reminiscent of a combination of The Verve Pipe and Darius Rucker twisted into a fresh blend, singers Jason Walsmith and Mike Butterworth show off their impressively strong pipes on this album.
“Almanac” starts off with the blast of the upbeat January love song, “Jan.: Bitter Love.” A great foot tapping song, this track serves as a great first impression of the band for a new listener, as it could easily be a crowd favorite.
Up-tempo strings and driving drums are the heart of “Feb.: Long Goodbye,” a song about hanging onto someone when it’s time to let them go. Piano riffs near the end of the track give the song a more intimate feeling.
“Mar.: Wrecking Ball” kicks off with mellow, enticing guitar riffs that are somewhat similar to those in John Butler Trio’s “Better Than.” The song is a good basis for any chill session.
A song about insecurity, wishful thinking, and mending the wounds of loneliness, the tone of “Apr.: Call Me” is reminiscent of April showers — serene and soft. The sadness in the desperate lyrics is genuine and the vocal harmonies that bring the song to a close provide a gentle conclusion.
“May: Last to Know” has a particularly catchy country twang to it. This song might be a preferred track for Guster fans.
“Jun.: Hear That Sound” is a light, laid-back tune that would go great on a soundtrack for a road trip.
Thrown into the mix is the standout track, “Jul.: Dodged a Bullet,” a powerful song about resentment over a summer breakup.
A smooth transition into the coming fall season and the track that succeeds it, “Aug.: Crystal Clear” is a quiet song that gradually builds louder when The Nadas reach the song’s climax.
“Sep.: All I Want is You” is an A.L.O.-style jam that would leave any girl swooning and longing for more of the Iowans’ sounds.
The band transitions back into its calm manner with “Oct.: Parachute,” a track that has a tone that invites the intimate fall mood back into the hearts of listeners.
Just in time for Thanksgiving, The Nadas include bouncy family vibes on the spirited “Nov.: Drink it ‘Til it’s Gone.”
The album wraps up with “Dec.: New Year’s Eve,” a song that paints a perfect picture of a New Year’s Eve scene in a cold climate.
The band thrives on portraying an appropriate mood for each month and song on “Almanac.” If only the album was longer in duration. This concept album is worth a second listen.
Be sure to check out the band this weekend while they’re in Phoenix:
The Rhythm Room
Sunday, 7:00 p.m.
$12 advance, $14 at door
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