Music: Staggering (Boy Genius)
Proof that a well-crafted pop song can illuminate love's complexities.
With their jangly guitars, headlong rhythms, and callow lyrics, Boy Genius would be an indie-band self-parody if they weren't so darn likable. Produced by power-pop institution Mitch Easter—a veteran of sessions with R.E.M. and the dB's—the Brooklyn foursome's second outing advances the enticing proposition that a toe-tapping ditty can illuminate love's complexities. Front man Jason Korenkiewicz croons, "I am so mixed up by every move you make" in "Scatterbrain"; on the title track he murmurs, "She is staggering; can't look away." Ultimate hipster move: The album is available only on vinyl, but comes with a link for a digital download.