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The Central Standards | The Central Standards' Folly

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The Central Standards' Folly

by The Central Standards

...In which the Memphis folk-rock band returns with a third record that is even more tuneful, thoughtful, and memorable than the group's first two critically-lauded efforts.
Genre: Rock: Folk Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Damaged Dollar
4:21 $0.99
2. Great Big Cosmic
3:20 $0.99
3. My Friends Too
2:56 $0.99
4. Hollow Moon
3:32 $0.99
5. Annie
3:22 $0.99
6. Thank You, Herman Mankiewicz
2:42 $0.99
7. Skyliner
2:25 $0.99
8. It Takes So Few
4:32 $0.99
9. Heavyweight
3:59 $0.99
10. Back from Little Rock
4:02 $0.99
11. Strike
3:39 $0.99
12. Lemon
4:04 $0.99
13. Molly Mosaic
2:04 $0.99
14. Endless Green and Blue
6:55 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The Central Standards' Folly (2007) is the third full-length release from Memphis-based folk-rock quartet The Central Standards. Produced by Ted Horrell and engineered primarily by Kenny Jones, the album was recorded between November 2006 and September 2007 at Sun Studio, Cotton Ridge Recording and Memphis Independent. All songs were written by Jeff Capps and Ted Horrell and performed by The Central Standards with special guests Kenny Jones, Lannie McMillan and James Stewart.


"What you hear is a band, one with great songwriting chops, discovering who it is in the studio, and it's a pretty enjoyable journey to go along on."
-Mark Jordan, The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.)

"This third album is the first that really feels like a band record — morphing from folk-rock in the mold of Freedy Johnston to a harder-rocking, rollicking roots band in the mold of the Old 97's, expanding the band's sonic palette."
-Chris Herrington, The Memphis Flyer

"Folk rock with bite is the best way to describe their guitar driven tunes, yet there are enough moments of pure unadulterated pop to keep you from growing dreads just yet. (There are) hooks aplenty and enough sing-along chorus to keep the foot tapping and the lungs active for months."
-Del Day, Americana UK

"Raised on Memphis music, The Central Standards dapple in the pop rock genre with tender hooks and catchy riffs. The album is rich in detail and texture though some songs can be completely stripped down and almost raw sounding. Add in some blues with fantastic brass instruments and you’ve got yourself a colorful and sugary third record from a quirky quartet of smart songwriters."
-Smother Magazine

"The Central Standards—one of my favorite bands, local or otherwise—made their initial mark on the Memphis music scene earlier this decade with two CDs of REM- and Big Star-tinged folk rock. With their latest CD, however, the group has applied a healthy dollop of White Out to the “folk” half of “folk rock.” The Central Standards’ Folly rocks.

A tough, edgy sound pervades: Folly features more sting and bite from the electric guitars, more punch from the drum sound—as well as a willingness to explore different vocal effects. The first sound heard on Folly is the backbeat of drummer Marty Christopher (one of Memphis’ finest…think the forcefulness of REM’s Bill Berry, the tastefulness of Wilco’s Glenn Kotche, and the controlled looseness of Charlie Watts) leading into “Damaged Dollar,” a composition by lead guitarist/keyboardist (and co-lead singer and songwriter) Ted Horrell that incorporates piano as well as musical colors heretofore unheard in their music (a train-flying-off-the-rails sax solo). The second track, co-leader Jeff Capps’ should-be-a-single “Great Big Cosmic,” recalls the jumpy swing of earlier Standards tunes like “What They Mean” (from 2003’s Refrain) and “Gumball Machine Diamond Ring” (from 2005’s Can’t Remember the Last Time)—except on steroids. Horrell’s “Annie,” too, rocks harder than anything from the first two Standards’ releases.

The group’s evolution from folk rock to something edgier is most apparent on the Capps composition “Strike,” which arrives about three quarters of the way through the record. Big, anthemic, shimmering, “Strike” is awash in atmospherics foreign to previous Standards releases—echoing vocals, distorted tremolo guitar, an expansive drum sound that would make Unforgettable Fire-era Larry Mullen, Jr., proud. “Don’t let me disappear,” sing Capps and Horrell, as if trying to keep the metamorphosis from being too complete.

It’s not all about loud guitars and vocal effects, though. Fans of the “classic” Standards sound will recognize the homier sonic textures and easy-goingness of earlier tunes in a handful of songs (including “My Friends Too” and “Thank You, Herman Mankiewicz”). And the album’s closing track, Capps’ “Endless Green and Blue,” fits into none of the categories named above. A deliberate (at 6 minutes plus, the longest Standards song by far) and ethereal gumbo of acoustic guitars and auxiliary percussion, the song easies its way into the subconscious, bringing the record to a soothing pause instead of an abrupt stop.

Despite the increasing divergence in songwriting styles of Capps (more impressionistic, stream-of-consciousness) and Horrell (more linear)—and despite the fact that the CD was recorded at three different local studios over several months—Folly is the group’s most cohesive record to date. Much credit for this result goes to the ever-growing integration of bassist Casey Smith and drummer Christopher into the performances. Smith and Christopher drive the songs when needed, yet one never feels that they are overplaying or trying to have their parts heard for their own sake.

If I have one complaint with Folly, it’s that, unlike the record’s predecessor Can’t Remember the Last Time, it does not seem to have (to my ears) a “centerpiece” like the previous record’s piano ballad “Teenage Heart,” which really shaped the emotional arc of the record when listened to from beginning to end. Of course, I’ve had Folly for only a couple of weeks; the shape of the narrative may make itself more apparent as I listen more. And fortunately, the strength of the singing, writing, and playing on The Central Standards’ Folly will lead to many, many repeat listens."
-David Twombly, Vexar Entertainment (Memphis, Tenn.)



to write a review

Ryan from KC

Like Fine Wine
These guys keep getting better with age. I've been a fan of the Standards, before they were even the Standards, and watching them grow has been a treat. If you haven't bought/downloaded Folly, what are you waiting for, if you have, you need to check out their first two cd's as well. Memorable hooks, great harmonies and amazing writing keep the Central Standards in the top playlist in my Ipod...Very nice!