Chris Staples was once the front man for the underground favorite TwoThiryEight. After leaving that band, he released a few independent acoustic albums on his own, and has now started his "one man band," Discover America.
Psychology happens to be the debut from his eccentric act. Filled with techno beats, acoustic guitars, wacky riffs, and just about anything that screams "abnormal," Discover America bleeds originality, obvious similarities to TwoThiryEight aside (Though there is absolutely nothing wrong with those). Psychology bears the same independent flare that made TwoThirtyEight so enjoyable to listen to, but adds keyboards and beats to the mix for a catchier experience.
Staples writes about all of the human cliches that make us predictable people. "I wanted to point out how predictable and unoriginal we are," he says on Tooth & Nail Record's official site. He does so with wit and keen insights. "Stark Honesty" talks about all those that fake greatness, "If you want to be great when you're not even good, you have to strive to be misunderstood." "Green Eyes" discusses the proverbial "perfect girl" that all the guys want, but only one seems to deserve, "Because everyone wants to know your name. And they're just thinking up the perfect words to break the ice. But every time it's just in vain. Because you're not impressed, but you're so polite."
It was a shame to lose TwoThirtyEight, but Discover America fills the giant gap that was left. Fans of Staples' previous may cry foul at a statement like that, but one listen to Psychology, and all fears will be relieved. Discover America is one of the better, and definitely one of the most original, releases of the year.- Review date: 05/29/05, written by Josh Taylor
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