Über Dr. Dog
In the early 21st century, America has produced two truly great pop bands: Animal Collective and Dr. Dog. But where the former takes Brian Wilson's sound into a global psychedelic future torn from the pages of a sci-fi novel, the latter drives it further into the annals of pop history. In fact, it's hard to even call Dr. Dog indie, which is how music critics generally describe their music. Even on early, homemade releases like Toothbrush and Easy Beat, the Philadelphia outfit exhibited a knack for refined melodies and classic composition that's far more in debt to Tin Pan Alley and the Brill Building than, say, the rudimentary hooks of the Velvet Underground's third and fourth records (indie pop's double helix). By 2007's We All Belong, the Dog had shed all those nagging comparisons to Beachwood Sparks and all those Elephant 6 acts, crafting a funky fusion of blue-eyed soul (hey, they're from Philly) and intricate, multilayered harmonies. "My Old Ways" even sounds like a Broadway tune. Indie kids simply don't emote like this. The band grooves and bubbles and loves and romances the way pop groups used to. Blatant nostalgia never sounded so darn sweet.