As I drove home from work and rocked out to Leave Your Name, the debut full-length from Omaha, Nebraska’s Statistics, I couldn’t help but think, This record is pretty fucking cool. I generally think it’s hard to really get into a record on a first listen, but Leave Your Name instantly satisfies my musical cravings the first time around. Nothing too original is going on here; no musical boundaries are being pushed. But Denver Dalley has used just the right combination of guitar, piano and electronics to create a record that is pretty irresistible.
Statistics is Dalley’s solo project. Before putting out a Statistics EP in June 2003, Dalley played guitar for Desaparecidos with Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes. This full-length is what Dalley has created during his downtime while Oberst is busy with Bright Eyes.
Leave Your Name has a very pop feel but still maintains true emotion. As the songs waver between heavy and mellow, the record creates a feeling of undulation. The heavier rock tracks have a very post-punk sound, almost catchy enough to be radio friendly but hard enough to keep them authentic. The softer tracks get a bit emotional at times. And the electronics keep it interesting; one track even sounds like a stripped down Postal Service song.
Dalley’s lyrics reflect some interesting thoughts. Some are personal, like in “The Grass Is Always Greener,” where he wrestles between wanting the stability of life at home or the thrill of life on the road touring. Others are more general or emotional. “Hours Seemed Like Days” references technology to reminisce about a time when life was simpler. The lyrics are easy to relate to aren’t alienating. Combined with catchy, poppy music, that makes Leave Your Name hard not to like.
Some listeners may expect a little more than is delivered. The lyrics work, but they’re pretty straightforward. The music, as I said before, isn’t anything that hasn’t been done before. But it’s something that can put a smile on your face and have you singing along if you let it. The listener just can’t expect anything to deep or complex. Leave Your Name is fun, plain and simple. I haven’t been able to get it out of my stereo.