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Published: 2003/11/28
by Dan Greenhaus

Gone Gone Gone – The New Deal

self-released

Sega’s Phantasy Star anyone?

Few bands in any genre excite me these days quite like The New Deal. Their

first album still gets regular play in my stereo at home and my computer

at work, and their live shows, particularly the ones at the Bowery Ballroom

here in New York City, have become staples of my concertgoing experiences
and memories. So, when a copy of their new album _Gone,

Gone, Gone_, arrived, I was quite excited to listen, and listen often.

What I found was not quite what I expected, but compelling nonetheless.

From the opening notes of this album, The New Deal's exciting new

direction (pun intended- playing off a song title, for the uninitiated) is perfectly clear, noted by both the relaxed feel

of the first song, and the appearance of (albeit lyricless) vocals, but

vocals nonetheless. I'll say this: I applaud The New Deal for adding vocals

to some of their songs- not because their music was lacking but just because they felt the urge to introduce this element. At the same time, it

cannot be ignored that the vocals, appearing on several songs, help bring

the sound of the album a little closer to generic, something I've found the

band never was, despite playing music such as house, which can get as

generic in its own way as anything you hear on the radio (Linkin Park
anyone?).

Even so, the vocals, which undoubtedly will be the most noticeable aspect of

the album, cannot hide, mask or draw attention away from the stellar

musicianship the band displays on nearly every song. "I Feel Love" [the group's instrumental take on the Donna Summer top-10 hit from 1977) is not
only as good as anything on the album, but is potentially its highlight. "Homewrecker" is up
there, too.

At the same time though, the album has moments of

overproduction, which some might say stifles the intensity The

New Deal is known for.
However, if you look at it from

another vantage point – the appropriate one in my humble opinion – Gone
Gone Gone

has a nice, loungy feel to it- more laid back, less

in your face. If I took this album out with

me here in New York, and played it in every club I went to, nobody would

know the music they were listening to was made by a band and not by a DJ,

which, one might well say, is one of the finest compliments you can pay The New
Deal.

The album is, not surprisingly, certainly "interesting" and, to a degree,

varied, while still maintaining a sense of its own identity. "A Little

While," one of the relaxed tracks with vocals, could easily be played in any

lounge at three o'clock in the morning, while "Episode 7" sounds like an
evil cross

between Oysterhead's "Owner Of The World," and any of The Disco Biscuits'

hardcore jams. In the end, Gone Gone Gone is an album you can throw
on at any party,

throw on in the car or apartment, and listen straight through until the end.

It's an album you can listen to while getting ready to go out at night, or

you can listen to it while going to sleep. The disc is, hopefully, just

another step in the long journey The New Deal are going to take with their

career — one that I am more than willing to follow until its very

end. And this album is anything but that. It's a beginning. It's a new

direction. An exciting new direction.

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