Mixtapes, “A Short Collection of Short Songs” 7-inch

A Short Collection of Short Songs
(Animal Style)

Of the two vocalists in Mixtapes, Maura’s voice is the one I like best. It’s no knock on Ryan, who sings just fine, but her voice is distinctive, whereas he has the standard “pop-punk vocal” tone: slightly raspy, slightly nasal, but in tune and on key. Maura’s voice stands out in the same way Lauren from the Measure [sa]’s does. It’s difficult to put into words, but when you hear either of those ladies sing, you know you’re hearing a voice you’d notice anywhere and listen to anything it sang.

The acoustic numbers are a nice change of pace from the rocking songs, but “Birthday Party Summer Camp” or “Whit’s End” don’t really grab my ear. “Anna Maria” is a different horse altogether, however – a haunting duet that’s pretty emotionally involved. It starts off with an arresting strummed intro, and moves into quiet drums and guitar, with a violin in the background. All the elements combine to make a nearly devastating song, yet one that manages to stay pretty. If Mixtapes have to

This comes on three different colors of vinyl. Mine is on blue, and it’s a lovely shade of what I like to refer to as Kansas county road sign blue. Cover art’s a little too Photoshop for my tastes (outlined text with drop shadow), but the cover art’s pretty all right.