New lineup breathes new life into The Rentals’ ‘Lost in Alphaville’

The Rentals‘Lost in Alphaville’
The Rentals (Polyvinyl)
3.5 stars out of 5

Matt Sharp emerged on the indie landscape two decades as the original bassist for Weezer. He recorded two records with Rivers Cuomo & Co. (1994’s “Blue Album” and 1996’s “Pinkerton”) before leaving the band in 1998 to dedicate himself to one-time side project The Rentals.

The Rentals CDThe Rentals earned acclaim for their 1995 “Return of the Rentals” debut, but 1999’s “Seven More Minutes” failed to make much of an impact. It would be more than a decade until the next Rentals full-length (2010’s “Songs About Time”) and Sharp is at it again with the rock-solid “Lost in Alphaville.”

The 10-track release is the band’s best since the 1995 debut and the new lineup of Sharp, Jess Wolfe & Holly Laessig (Lucius), Ryan Slegr (Ozma), Lauren Chipman (The Section Quartet) and Patrick Carney (The Black Keys) work very well together. Among the popwer-pop standouts here are “It’s Time to Come Home,” “Stardust,” “1000 Seasons,” “Thought of Sound” and “Seven Years.” “Lost in Alphaville” definitely merits a few spins. (Jeffrey Sisk)

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