For those who came of age in the mid-2000s, it’s going to be hard—maybe impossible—not to hear strains of Rooney in the fat, chipper power chords and boyish vocals of The Postelles’ second and latest record, And It Shook Me. While it’s doubtful that this was the band’s intention, it’s easy to see this as a manifestation of the cyclical nature of guitar rock. It may take infinite monkeys an infinite amount of time to write Shakespeare, but it took four guys from Brooklyn about a decade to make the same kind of power-ballads as Rooney.
In some ways, though, And It Shook Me does stand on its own merits. In “Oh My Luck”, singer Daniel Balk praises his typically poor luck, since in this instance, it actually brought a hottie to his side. It sounds great — all catchy, up-tempo guitar licks and lyrics that ruthlessly rhyme (“I want to find the reasons, but reasons all fall down / I want to find the seasons/ you’re stormy all year round”), but once it’s over, it doesn’t stick. “Sweet Water” is similarly ephemeral — it’s a great little ditty, but one that sounds similar to many others you’ve undoubtedly heard before.
And It Shook Me is probably most notable for its relentless optimism — an underrepresented point of view in modern indie rock and pop. The album’s main priority is fun, and these boys aren’t about to let anything ruin their pool party. So when The Postelles sometimes flirt with sadness, it feels like a caricature of the true emotion — sadness the way a cartoon character might experience it. In the album closer, “You Know I Won’t”, Balk expresses the awkward sentiment, “Our love is hard love / though the reasons change.” It’s an easy album to love, but hard to love it more than anything else.
Essential tracks: “Oh My Luck”, “Sweet Water”, and “You Know I Won’t”.