This isn't the spot to lay down odds on the third race. OTB is where Others Talk Back and give you the lowdown on what they've been feeling lately. This one's for the customers.

Nada Surf - “Never Not Together”  It is hard to believe but Nada Surf has been making music for almost twenty-five years.  But yet, “Never Not Together” is only their ninth studio album. At times, years can go by without a Nada Surf record in the shops.  Those long absences can take a toll on any forward momentum. Nada Surf simply has to constantly reintroduce themselves every 2 or 3 years.  But “Never Not Together” is a great reintroduction for the band. This is probably one of their best albums in years. The songs are top-notch and so well arranged and produced that they sound effortless.  Many of the songs will quickly become classics in the band’s repertoire. And several of the songs should become classics of the power pop genre. All in all, “Never Not Together” is a more than worthy “hello we’re back” from this long-time band. - Ted

Isobel Campbell - “There Is No Other...”  Ms. Campbell first tasted musical fame while a member of Belle & Sebastian.  At the same time as she was in the band, she started a solo career. Finally leaving Belle and Sebastian in 2006, she quickly recorded three collaborative albums with Mark Lanegan, all three being classics in their right.  It may seem strange but “There Is No Other...” is only her second solo release since 2006. On her long-awaited return, Ms. Campbell plays to her strengths. Many of the songs are stellar examples of classic folk-rock and chamber pop.  Ms. Campbell has the ability to write songs of those two genres that are atmospheric and haunting. But the thing is, Ms. Campbell can write moody songs that still stick in your mind long after the album is finished. Ms. Campbell also stretches her musical self with several tracks of her idiosyncratic take on gospel.  I have no idea why it took so long for her to release an album. And fourteen years is an awful long time. But Ms. Campbell is back and as good as she was before. - Ted

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