Everything about Saturday Looks Good to Me’s newest album, One Kiss Ends it All is sweet, not aw-yeah-man-that’s-sweet sweet, but genuine rosy-cheeks-fresh-flowers sweet. The melodies, the lyrics, even the percussion is sugar-coated with sunshiny, bubblegum twee sounds that are pleasantly innocent. If you like Best Coast’s “summer is forever” beach party vibe or Camera Obscura’s timid quaintness—or if you just love the ironic charm of prancing around fields, gathering daisies and picking berries—One Kiss Ends it All is a staple addition to your “let’s go adventuring!” playlist.
SLGTM never fails to produce something totally evolved from previous efforts, and One Kiss Ends it All is no exception. The band’s last album, Fill Me Up, seemed like an intermediate record between traditional SLGTM pure pop to a lyrically sounder experimental folk-pop hybrid. After a disillusioning six-year hiatus, One Kiss Ends it All (apart from the misleading first track, “One Kiss,” which is purely experimental) follows the shift that was born in the previous album.
“Invisible Friend” is arguably the most adorable song ever written. The combination of dreamy lyrics, a buoyant tempo, and syrupy percussion is indicative of Fred Thomas’ musical genius. In a similar vein are “New City,” “Break In,” and “Polar Bear,” but along with the sound of sheer joy these tracks are accented by an element of horns that is the perfect additive for a balance of feel-good sunshine and professionalism. Some of the electronic experimentation, namely that at the end of “New City,” which sounds uncannily like a scratch on a record, seems excessive and wholly unnecessary, but after a few listens through become a large part of the album’s unending charm.
The guitar riffs in “Empty Beach” are reminiscent of The Smiths, and Johnny throws it back to past albums with lead vocals sung primarily by Thomas, serving as a soothing but oddly-placed intermission between bijou songs of eagerness. Closing out with “Sunglasses” and “Space Children” is the cherry on top of a wonderful album, especially given “Space Children” horn-heaviness and echoing vocals nearing the end of the track, as well as the ever-satisfying combination of vocals of Barnes and Thomas.
One Kiss Ends It All is full of the anthems of innocence. After six years without a release, SLGTM’s newest album is just what we’ve all been waiting for.