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THE PRINCES OF PARANOIA

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Quoth the French existentialist philosopher Jean Paul Sartre: Hell is other people.

It’s a heck of a philosophy to build a record around, but one that struck a chord with American Princes. Not only does the Little Rock band reference Sartre in the title of their excellent 2008 release, Other People, they also inject their power-pop with a good dose of his social unease. Co-frontmen Collins Kilgore and David Slade take turns intoning jittery refrains such as, I have never felt so alone, and You can’t change yourself / You can’t change the world. Sounds pretty bleak on paper, yet the power of this group lies in their ability to deliver anxious manifestos as hook-laden rock on par with the Wrens and Hot Hot Heat.

Daedal and fearless, Other People takes listeners on a brilliant joyride through pop, new wave, even a little reggae.  One thing’s for certain, paranoia never felt so good.

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