The Reputation: To Force a Fate

The Reputation
To Force a Fate
(Lookout)

“Let This Rest” is a terrific pop song that kicks off a near-perfect album side on the Reputation’s new album, their second. This song has everything: great guitar work and a nice tension between the breezily swinging verses and the choruses that crash into them, all topped by Elizabeth Elmore’s alluring-yet-innocent vocals. Despite its title, though, Elmore & Co. don’t appear to be letting anything rest. To Force a Fate is as good or better than the band’s 2002 debut, and Elmore, while mining the same power pop stockpiles that have fueled her career, is clearly maturing as a songwriter. A pair of downtempo tracks – the shimmering, Sundays-esque “The Lasting Effects” and “March” – form the core of the album, and they both show that the Reputation is about more than rocking out. Of course, they’re also about that, too, and the rollicking piano rocker “Follow-Through Time” would have been a standout track on albums by Heavenly or Velocity Girl in their primes. If I have one complaint, it’s about the album’s pacing; it tends to drag a bit in the middle (especially after the explosive opening), with three of the slower songs (beautiful as they are) all together. But that’s a quibble. The Reputation are on a roll. Highly recommended.