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From the opening notes of the synthesizer and violin-laden track "Submarine Symphonika," it's easy to assume this is going to be some kind of weird electronic pop record. But the husband/wife duo of John Dragonetti and Blake Hazard soon let their guard down and offer up some great indie-pop lyrical maxims: case(s) in point: "When you kiss me in ways I've forgotten/love is a swimming pool with no bottom""I hide a ring of thorns around my heart/but you made your way in/yes you broke it apart" ("The Thorny Thicket").
The album is full of other great lyrical moments, such as when Dragonetti compares his lover's words to "Chairman Mao's wakeup song," or the first few lines of "Xavia," a call-and-response breakup song to rival the likes of the Postal Service's "Nothing Better."
All of the songs retain their initial charm even upon repeated listens, with enough breaks from the album's general trend of keyboard-heavy pop to keep it interesting and refreshing. ''1940'' sees Blake Hazard channeling Metric's Emily Haines for a downtempo, sultry tune that sounds like it was recorded through a haze of smoke in an old downtown jazz club.
The haunting two minutes and 49 seconds of "Fern Beard" give way to the album's closing track, "Brightest Hour," an absolutely beautiful and wonderfully hopeful acoustic guitar-based track with a twinkling piano spread throughout. The band prove that they know how to end a record, leaving you with something to contemplate on long summer nights.
With Honeysuckle Weeks, the Submarines are what every good boy/girl band should be -- catchy as hell, sweet but not sickening, and more than slightly heartbreaking.