...are the times when i can't talk"
I firmly believe that Nada Surf's debut album is one of the best rock albums of all time. I bought this album cos I'd heard "Popular" on MTV2 a few times, and thought I might throw it on a few compilation tapes - what I didn't expect was that the rest of the album would be so good, and so unlike Popular! Each song on here is unique and brilliant in it's own right. The lyrics are written from a detached outsiders point of view, but often stuffed with spite and hatred. While some reviews on here rather unfairly compare the band to Weezer, I'd say that "The Get Up Kids" are a better comparison. Weezer have never sounded this vicious, and that Nada Surf do it with only 3 members makes it even better. The song writing and guitar playing are particularly self assured, with time changes and other experimental traits pushed to the forefront - for example, one song uses distorted vs undistorted guitar to create a riff out of one note. Genius.
Also, like all good albums it gets better with each listen, and I should know, as I've been listening to it at least once a day for about a month now. Maybe I'm biased, maybe I'm hypnotized, maybe I need to get out more, but this album shines like an undiscovered and unpolished gem from one of American music's worst years of recent times. Try it and see.
Sadly the band have been going down hill since this peak, with neither "Proximity Effect", nor "Let Go" recapturing the angst and the anger vented on this disc.