Music Review: The Rhumb Line

Ra Ra Riot’s first full-length album is a burst of ecstatic pop, sure to charm sophisticates and thrill seekers alike.

When Wesley Miles exclaims, “It’s hard to stay cool,” he’s not kidding. The first full-length album from this quintet is a burst of ecstatic pop that matches the rousing energy of stadium anthems, but not their predictability. However urgent the passions of “Dying Is Fine” (whose title comes from an e.e. cummings poem) or “Too Too Too Fast,” Ra Ra Riot maintains a light touch, letting nimble cello and violin frame the bright melodies. The marriage of visceral and cerebral in “Ghost Under Rocks” and “Run My Mouth” will charm sophisticates and thrill seekers alike.


What's going to happen next as the headlines grow crazier and more disconcerting by the day. But we do know the job of an independent, unrelenting press is more important than ever—and the ongoing commitment of MoJo readers to fight for a democracy where facts matter and all can participate is absolutely vital.

If you feel the urgency deep in your bones like we do, please consider signing up as a monthly donor during our fall pledge drive to support Mother Jones' fair and fearless reporting for the long haul (or make a one-time gift if that works better for you). The headlines may fade, but the need to investigate the powerful never will.

  • Jon Young is a contributing writer for Mother Jones. For more of his stories, click here.