Stork & Owl
There's an anxious energy powering Dear Science, and it's incredibly infectious. Apparent from the first grating guitar riff on "Halfway Home," it flows through "Crying"'s bassy/falsetto interplay and "Dancing Choose"'s fast, flippant flows that can contend with R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World ..." The restless vigor turns upbeat with "Golden Age," which could be a New Age mantra if it weren't for all the moonwalk-able beats, and on "Red Dress," a funky, big-band thrill ride. TVOTR may still allow the gloom to lurk, but this time around, they're having more fun with it.