Jessica T. (jessicatok) from LINCOLN, NE Reviewed on 2/18/2007...
One of 2002's top CDs of the year. Nada Surf has ditched their weird poppy "Popular" for thoughtful, intricate songwriting. Last 3 tracks are terrific.
Paul J. Mazzoni | Sioux City, IA | 08/07/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Let's face it...if you mention Nada Surf to someone, they are either going to bring up the song "Popular" or say "Nada who?" But you won't find a more consistently good pop album by a group with "Nada" in the name...or any group for that matter. This band is definitely evolving in the right direction. The vocals on several songs are very reminiscent of Semisonic's Dan Wilson and several songs like "Hi-Speed Soul" and the rocking "The Way You Wear Your Head" sound like they could easily fit on an early Semisonic album. But what separates Nada Surf are great songs like "Blizzard of '77" and "Inside of Love." And unlike most bands, Nada Surf saves one of the best for last with "Treading Water", which shifts from straight rock to more introspective, melancholy pop. There are quite a number of ballads on the album that deserve close attention. But the group mixes them up with the more upbeat stuff so that there is never a dull moment. A fine effort that is not to be missed."
Highlight of the resurging Indie scene (4 STARS)
Janson Kemp | Dallas, TX USA | 05/07/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"2001 and 2002 partly gave it's life to the then "Up-and coming" nu-metal genre, while the latter half of 2002 was reserved for the NY-sludge-garage-punk of the White Stripes and the Strokes. 2003 now has seen it's share of bands put out stripped-down Indie outings, like Wilco's "Foxtrot," Stephen Malkmus's "Pig Lib" and even the Jayhawks new "Rainy Day Music." But who is to trust in this resurfacing scene? Should we stay with the more pompous, arrogance of the Vines? Or get sucked into the uneducated political whining of Coldplay? Perhaps this CD will save your musical life....Nada Surf's "Let Go" cannot be defined (without arguement) in a single genre. It's pop-rock, indie-rock, NY Underground, etc. But one thing is sure... It's good. Really really good. Nada surf shake off it's one-time buzz bin MTV wonder award to join the rest of us on earth and release an album with heart, soul, and unavoidable catchiness. "Blizzard of '77" and "Inside of Love" have enough acoustic charm to blow Ben Harper away, while "Hi-Speed Soul," "Happy Kid" and "The Way You Wear Your Head" are poppy, indie rockers. Nada Surf even tip their hat to former folky great Bob Dylan on "Blonde on Blonde." "Let Go" takes the listener to blistering hights of food storage, bilingual splendor, to a run-in with a pair of LDS missionaries (and the meaning of life), and almost shapes up to be a classic in the meantime. A fantastic album.Overall: 8 out of 10."
Not groundbreaking, but stellar anyway
commontone | 03/20/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Before buying this album I had only heard "Popular," so I was surprised when I started seeing glowing reviews of Nada Surf's latest album all over the place. I was even more (pleasantly) surprised when I heard the album--it's one of those rare ones where every single track hits the sweet spot in one way or another.The one complaint I have is that the album lacks obvious originality--on Let Go, Nada Surf sometimes sound like "Bends"-era Radiohead, or Elliott Smith or New Order or Coldplay. It may not bring much new to the table, but so what? How dare they operate in existing genres! It's done so well, so confidently, and the songwriting is so strong that this complaint seems superfluous. Nada Surf don't hijack their influences, they suggest them with reverence.While the production tends to suggest other bands, there is definitely some good craftmanship here, subtle dissonances and restrained ambience. Matthew Caws is a strong singer and the band has good chemistry, which the production is careful to preserve (esp. evident on "Neither Heaven Nor Space," "Happy Kid"). The ballads move at a perfectly hypnotic pace.The album's biggest strength is its melodies. Every song has a satisfying, catchy melody, and the ballads are simply beautiful ("Killian's Red," "Paper Boats" in particular). Lyrically, Nada Surf are simple but in a subtle and intelligent way, introspective without being mopey. Some people might be quick to complain about lyrics like "I wanna know what it's like/On the inside of love" but Nada Surf pull it off easily. On that song ("Inside Of Love") they display a reverence for pop, in particular the way a great pop song can make potentially hammy lyrics seem deeper than they should. Most of the lyrics on Let Go aren't that obvious. They reveal new layers with repeated listening, just the right amount of depth.Overall the album is simply satisfying in a way few pop records are, gently catchy, melancholy but spry, perfect (as others have said) for a rainy day. If you're too cool for pop, you'll probably hate Let Go. Everyone else will hear an album full of songs that stand up to the very best of their genre. Forget about "Popular," people! To hold a grudge over that song would be a big mistake--Nada Surf deserve to be regarded as a serious indie band."
blankwave | New York, NY United States | 02/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"okay, to anyone who wont listen to nada surf because they didnt like "popular", please start listening.This album is sheer genius. They have really nailed down their songwriting. There are a few pop rocker tracks on the album, but there are also many slower, beautiful tracks. "Blonde on Blonde" is especially great, listening to Bob Dylan while walking in the NYC rain. "Killian's Red," and "Paper Boats" are my personal favorites. But its hard to pick a favorite as the entire album is just perfect. If you loke alot of indie rock, this is a must have. Mojo, the only mag i really trust, set this album in the top 50 of 2002 (European release was last September). It is a REALLY BEAUTIFUL ALBUM. Anyone still comparing them to being a "Son of Weezer" really has to stop now. Unlike Weezer, Nada Surf has grown and moved well beyond the Top 40 persona they once had. If you actually listened to either of their first two albums then you know that that song was really kind of the weakest track they had. Most MTVheads didnt even notice that the song was a sarcastic comment on high school life. Anyway buy this album. You will be pleased."
A melodic masterpiece
David O'Brien | Dublin 18 Ireland | 01/08/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had never heard of Nada Surf until a good friend suggested I give a listen.
Well, to say I was impressed is an understatement.
If there is one band who encapsulates all of the best qualities of post-grunge it is Nada Surf.
There isn't really one weak song on this collection.
In fact I would say that the description of their music as 'post grunge' is a bit misleading.'Lets Go' is more powerpop than anything else.
The songs themselves are fantastic.If you are looking for a musical comparison ,think of REM around the time of 'Murmur' or Coldplay when they are at their best.
Lead singer Matthew Caws has a very strong voice and it is ideally suited to the powerpop material on this album.At times his voice reminds me so much of another great vocalist : Dan Wilson of Semisonic.
The album opens with the brilliant 'Blizzard Of '77'.This song is a ballad par excellence and contains a simple acoustic guitar and melodic vocals.The point of the whole song is only understood when you hear the emotional line 'I missed you more than I knew' at the very end.Next up is 'The Way You Wear Your Head' which is guitar-driven rock a la REM at their best.
'Fruit Flies' opens very low key but when it gets going, Caws vocals go into overdrive and the song becomes a powerpop masterpiece.
Throughout the rest of the album the songs are all very strong.
The best ones are 'Happy Kid','No Quick Fix' and the New Order-ish 'Hi Speed Soul'.
On the evidence of 'Lets Go' ,Nada Surf have the ability to become really huge.Now lets hope that the radio DJs in the US and other places take note and give them the airplay that they deserve."