Named after a “fruit” that was supposed to be an aphrodisiac, the Pomegranates’ debut LP, “Everything Is Alive,” begins with the obligatory atmospheric intro but then delivers a hot, upbeat, and extraordinary single that begins with a sad lyric: “I don’t see it getting better, from a lover’s point of view.” It’s the happiest song about the end of love I’ve ever heard. Not only is it lyrically complex, but it has some of the most interesting guitar work I’ve heard in a pop album in years. This is dance music for the thinking person, but it’s emphatically not quirky. In this way, the Poms manage to construct a rare creature: A complex pop album that sounds nothing like !!!, Hot Chip, Beck, or any of the other “we’re weird white dudes who dance” types.
Indeed, the Pomegranates are decidedly not male. The lead vocal tracks are often in the capable hands of Joey Cook, whose falsetto had me thinking he was a she the first time I listened to the record. The band is drawing comparisons to lots of blog buzz bands, but I’m not going to repeat them here because I don’t see it. I find the music here to be original, wholly original, particularly because it abounds with a quality not usually found in indie rock: Fun. Lots of fun. Fun without being silly. Fun without being odd for fun’s sake. The kind of fun that comes from hope.
I love this record!