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May 25, 2004

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David Bazan is growing up. And honestly, it sounds beautiful.

Taking a more straightfoward approach to his music, the songs on Achilles Heel are made of simple melodies, but they are no less carefully crafted than previous Pedro the Lion albums.

The lyrics convey a wiser, older and somewhat more-skeptical man, relaying the various events of a life that, albeit simple, still comes with its own set of repercussions. "Make a fist and take a deep breath. Close your eyes and count to 10," he advises on "Keep Swinging." Rarely do we, as an audience, get to witness the outpourings of the seemingly simpler aspects of life such as marriage. Instead, we are usually subjected to the almost hypocritical musings of rock stars that are longing for simpler existences. But in the back of our minds, we know the words aren't completely heartfelt because they are still making albums and touring to promote them. Just another reason why this Pedro the Lion record is so special. It's a record for every person.

Juxtaposing personal with slightly more political views, the lyrics are accessible, and the music sounds familiar, like an old friend commiserating about the past and looking toward the future with a heavy -- yet slightly optimistic -- sigh.

Agouti Music

Christina Han