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Army Navy: Candy In Song Form

Anyone who remembers Zotz — those oddly effervescent candies that released a slightly delayed fizz over time — ought to appreciate Army Navy's "Unresponsive Ears." The song starts out sweet and subtle before dissolving into a Posies- and Teenage Fanclub-style tsunami of melody and distortion that underscores the youthful essence of power-pop in all its bittersweet glory.

Justin Kennedy has a bite to his voice that keeps his surroundings from getting overly saccharine, and he and his bandmates build effortlessly to a soaring bridge, dipping down gracefully into the sing-along chorus before unfurling a long instrumental fadeout. It's a brave stroke to devote that much of a perfect pop song to a lengthy interlude — even if it's one that swells to new heights before disappearing into the ether — but Army Navy remains bewitchingly engaging until the end.

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Barbara Mitchell