[Album Review] Tennis – Cape Dory

By Will Oliver, January 18th 2011 — with 6 comments Album Review

Tennis – Cape Dory | 2011| Fat Possum

Purchase At Insound

The project of Tennis came to be when Denver, Colorado’s Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore sailed across the east coast together. They lived on a sailboat for nearly a year and decided to soundtrack their experiences on the sea. They released a few songs last year to the delight of music lovers everywhere. It’s not hard to get into Tennis. They make highly accessible music that is a modern take on retro sounds.

“Take Me Somewhere” is a charming opener that displays what Tennis is all about. You wouldn’t be wrong if you thought that Cape Dory was an albums from the hey-day’s of the 1950’s or ’60s. Alaina Moore’s airy vocals are easy on the ears, and this is a perfect fit for the throwback sound that Tennis emulates so well. Sure, Tennis isn’t making the most original music, but what they lack in originality, they make up with their ability to charm with pop styling.

These are 10 songs that are easy to love, and even easier to play over and over. Isn’t that what made the music so great in the ’50’s & ’60’s?

It’s hard to deny the two and a half minutes of pop glory packed into “Marathon”, a song that I haven’t stopped playing since last year. The guitars are tuned with a warm wholesome twang similar to the Walkmen. This vintage sound gives the band its edge. Tennis are successful in their attempt to turn back the clocks and make old fashioned music sound good again. Many bands have tried to do it over the past few years, and not many do it as well as Tennis.

“Cape Dory”, “Marathon”, and “Baltimore” all sound sharper compared to the early versions that we heard last year. They’re solid offerings, but the real star of this album is “Pigeon”. It’s the most intimate offering from the band, and it may just be their most charming moment. It’s a side of Tennis that I would love to hear more of. It’s the understated simple beauty that this world needs more of, and “Pigeon” rises to the challenge.

Cape Dory is an album that you will love the hell out of in the summer when it has time to dance freely in the warm summer air. Grab your friends, sit by the water, and take a trip down to Cape Dory.

This is as solid of a debut that you can ask from a band like Tennis. Not every album needs to be a game changer. Sometimes we just need an album that we can rely on. I don’t think I’ll have any problem playing this album over and over this year.

You know what, sometimes that’s good enough for me.

Rating: 8.3

Tennis – Pigeon

Tennis – Marathon

Tennis – Take Me Somewhere

  • grntypewriters

    Well said. I’d say ‘South Carolina’ and ‘Water Birds’ are the best on the album, though.

  • http://www.thetennisemporium.com Tennis Gifts

    Yes, love Water Birds.

  • Alex E.

    Good review will, id rate it higher but i guess cause im more biased towards it. But on one of the live shows Aliana pointed out “pigeon” was written for a middle school slow dance and id say they are spot on with that, this albums got a really retro buddy holly feel to it. More like a toned down Best Coast. But great review will i really liked the smith westerns review as well

  • mountain james

    the pitchforkmedia review hits it on the head, beachy tweeish pop is getting tried and annoying, wooooosmack, shut up you precious cutesy pies

  • Will

    Well at least you can think for yourself.

  • poop

    mountain james’s shitty review is posted on nearly every site’s review of this record, get a life mountain james shit eater





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