Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Rest Is Same Difference

Same Difference, aka Sean & Sarah Smith, everyone's favorite lovable, slightly incestuous, brother and sister pop act, are back with a new album! Even better, it's available for purchase in the States! The album is called The Rest Is History and you need to buy it now.

As you can see by the cover, The Rest Is History is the group's attempt to move past the kiddie-friendly image they adopted over the course of their X-Factor run a few years ago into more adult territory. They've ditched the cardigan sweaters, lollipops and massive key changes that dominated their first album, Pop, for sleeker, less obvious production and a more mature, age-appropriate wardrobe. Their transformation was subtle--this certainly isn't Rihanna on her Rated R campaign--but it's noticeable, which is clearly the point. They want the world to see them as serious artists, not just the relentlessly cheerful pop tarts they were marketed as. Change is definitely necessary in order for this to happen as Sean & Sarah are talented individuals, but was the transformation a success?

I must admit that I was a little sad that the Pop era had come to an end. Without that album in the first few months of 2009, I don't know how I would have survived. Their optimism and cheerfulness warmed this cold cynic's heart in ways I had never experienced before. Just a year before, I probably would have laughed them off, but they came in at the right point in my life for me to appreciate their ridiculousness. While it's true that The Rest Is History captures a more mature-sounding Same Difference, they haven't lost the one thing that made their music so unique: the all-encompassing joy that comes through in their music. Just like with David Archuleta, everything Same Difference does never fails to put a smile on my face. With The Rest Is History, Sean & Sarah are their bouncy, joyful selves on something like the infectious 'Karma Karma' without limiting themselves to the BIGNESS of their earlier stuff. The album has some great jams, but the best in my estimation is 'Souled Out.' We've been hearing bits and pieces of it for well over a year now but nothing has prepared us for how gloriously epic the track is. It's everything we loved about the old Same Difference wrapped up in everything we love about the new Same Difference and is a huge leap forward for the brother and sister duo. The album title may suggest that Sean & Sarah are trying to forget the past but the music proves that they have only taken it in a new direction, not forgetting what made them successful in the first place.

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