The Nadas have a problem, and they know it. As a veteran, semi-acoustic, singer-songwriter-ly rock band from Des Moines, Iowa, the quintet is susceptible to the great indie-rock white-out of the '00s. That blizzard of indistinguishable bands may be waning, but it can still obliterate musical distinction. The Nadas appears to have found a solution, though: Listen to DeVotchKa records — or at least, as the band does on the recently released Almanac, try fucking with formula by filtering folk-rock instruments and intimacy through neo-psychedelic orchestras and meticulously skewed mixing. While retaining the charming, big-hearted choruses of should-be-hits such as "Crystal Clear" and "Bitter Love," the band manages to sound inspired and open-minded, like Cracker at its most sincere or the Wallflowers at its most tuneful.
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