Impossible to endure in a single sitting lest the listener lapse into a diabetic coma, The Boy Least Likely To’s The Best Party Ever is, like Architecture in Helskinki’s In Case We Die, an album that’s deliriously brilliant when taken in one or two song helpings but which is overwhelming when taken as a whole. It’s an entire box of Fruity Pebbles: vibrant, colorful, and awfully tempting to OD on. And if the ridiculously twee cover art, what with its crayon drawings of stuffed animals getting their instruments set up for a show, isn’t ample enough warning, the glorious refrain of opener “Be Gentle With Me” (“I’m happy because I’m stupid!”) distills the album to a single line. It’s happy to the point that it borders on joycore. It’s “stupid” only in the sense that the point of view is deliberately childlike and whimsical. And the album threatens to be great because of the interplay between its gleeful wall of sound, provided by multi-instrumentalist Peter, and the neurotic, clever, and undeniably self-aware insights in vocalist Jof’s lyrics. Ultimately, it’s that perspective—best captured in the opening lines of “Paper Cuts,” wherein Jof sings, “I bruise like a peach/I mumble when I speak/I’m in the gutter looking at the stars/I’ve always been in love with you”—that keeps The Best Party Ever from being juvenile, no small feat considering the duo’s chosen sound. That it’s an unabashedly fun pop album is obvious; that it’s a smart pop album makes The Best Party Ever something of a treasure—just one that’s best appreciated one piece at a time.
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