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Tennis: Young and Old (Fat Possum) 

The first album from Tennis arrived framed in its own narrative—husband and wife tour the Eastern Seaboard in a sailboat for seven months, then form a band to make a record about their experience.

The band's follow-up manages to carry the themes and sound of Cape Dory another step forward. Young and Old isn't about sailing so much as it's about wanting to sail again—stuck facing the real world with a too-adventurous spirit.

The music from Denver's Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley falls on the less-dreamy end of dream pop—think Beach House swapping the reverb for some bubblegum choruses. Patrick Carney of the Black Keys produced the album, upping the tempo and adding a bit of low-end muscle in comparison to Cape Dory.

The lyrics—and song titles like "Dreaming" and "Traveling"—center around the battle between disillusionment and idealism, an introspective kind of searching as opposed to the literal exploring that shaped their first record. "Took a train to get to you," Moore sings on album-opener "It All Feels the Same." On "Never to Part," he says: "Paradise is all around, but happiness is never found."

While it's missing a standout track, Young and Old is a strong second effort and one that suggests Tennis will continue to make fine pop music that finds a good balance between hazy sounds and sugary vocals.

More by Eric Swedlund

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