In 1996 Nada Surf was on top of the world. Their hit single, "Popular" was an anthem for depressed high school students. The song served as a painstaking guide book to teenage popularity. They had a major label record contract and were destined for greatness. Fast-forward 9 years and the mainstream music scene had basically written them off. They were a one hit wonder. With four albums to their name, Nada Surf released "The Weight is a Gift" at the end of 2005 on Barsuk Records. The album serves as a beacon of hope for anyone who enjoys indy-geek-rock.
The beauty of the album lies in its simplicity. Nada Surf does not try to do too much. The album is 11 tracks in total. All of the songs are fairly concise. They do not waste the listener's time by turning a 3 minute gem into a repetitive 5 minute ditty. There is an art to writing short catchy songs that Nada Surf has mastered. The lyrics are direct and creative. They allow the listener to formulate their own opinions and avoid spelling everything out. One of my favorite lines is in the song "Blankest Year" year when they say "time don't move, we're the only ones who do." I have not heard an album this refreshing in a long time.
Nada Surf has done what so many others have failed to do, they did not allow a label like "one hit wonder" to define them. "The Weight is a Gift" is a very well crafted album. It will not gain them the same fanfare that their earlier work did but who wants to be popular anyways.
Noteworthy Tracks: Concrete Bed, Always Love, Blankest Year & Imaginary Friends