It’s not uncommon for a band to reuse a song released on an EP as a track on a full-length album,but sometimes too much tinkering can cause an EP standout to lose its appeal the second time around. These songs are songs bands got right the first time.
This song appeared on both “Magic, Love & Dreams EP” and on the bands debut album “Aloha Moon”. Both versions are intentionally kitschy, ironic takes on bubblegum love songs, but the first version did it better. The album version isn’t bad, but The EP version’s vocals are more subdued, drumming has a little more snap and synthesizer intro is less prominent.
For a song that’s essentially a stripped down, sneering take on “Genius of Love” less is more.
The best version of “Can You Tell” appeared, fittingly, on the 2006 “Can You Tell EP”, and is technically a demo version of the song. It also appears on Ra Ra Riot’s 2008 album, “The Rhumb Line”. The earlier version has a rougher string section, and the word babe is used as a holding place for about a fourth of the simple song’s lyrics.
This is a schmaltzy, short love song, and it lose virtually no meaning by having a term of endearment stand in for a few lines. However, “Can You Tell” gains a lot of character by stripping a coat of varnish off of its strings.
Four of the 10 songs on The Givers’ debut album “In Light” are contained on the band’s EP “GIVERS”. The band is bubbly and energetic, but dialed it up to 11 for their album. Every redundant song was better in its original iteration, and the remix of “Up Up Up” is also very enjoyable.
“In Light” is a fun, afrobeat inspired collection of indie pop songs, but the band from Lafeyette, La., did better with the material on their first try.