(Thursday Morning Records 2003)

On their 2002 release, "Neurotica," The Dent showcased five tracks that appealed to every fan of poppy, radio friendly tunes. With their newest release, "Farewell," The Dent made few corrections to that formula. Instead, they keep things essentially the same and let their sound grow by simply adding more instruments that offers more variety and a more orchestral sound.

The first song, "Look Up," introduces a more developed The Dent with a tight and catchy melody. Picking up the pace and forcing your foot to tap along, "Fantastic" has an original The Dent sound with a retro twist as the band plays with the rhythms and dynamics. In an interesting, and smart, move, "End of the World," undoubtedly the stand out track from "Neurotica," is included on "Farewell" and loses none of its beauty. Fading into the more orchestral The Dent, "Second Home" incorporates strings and a tinkling piano part that complements nicely with the vocals. While you have to give them credit for attempting to vocally stretch on "Never Found" - Linker, along with D. Rauh, who takes over the vocals on the the verses, alternate between a deeper tone and the almost unchanging falsetto you hear on the other tracks - the quick jump from high to low during the verse is slightly uncomfortable.

"Help The Dead" gives Linker a chance to shine, this time as drummer, as his pounding rhythm is an obvious focus. Adding some barely there guitar feedback and piano, "Help The Dead," stands out on "Farewell." As they demonstrated on "Neurotica" as well as on the title track of this album, The Dent can rock when they let themselves.

The Dent seemed to have spent most of "Farewell" building up to "Lost Alone," a very orchestral sounding, well thought out and catchy song. "Yes, I want you to know/I'm so lost alone/I'm not ready to go," Linker sings, occasionally sounding not unlike Roy Orbison in his crooning during the chorus. Not ready to let go of the orchestral torch, the band close the album, softly, with "New York" as Linker confides, "I have been scared in New York/I have always been lost in New York"¦I still wanna be loved someday in New York."

The Dent's "Farewell" isn't a big surprise. While it shows obvious growth, it sounds enough like their previous release that you can understand the direction they went in. While lacking in some real up tempo attention grabbers, "Farewell," is full of the catchy lyrics and the thoughtful melodies you expect from The Dent.


buy it!