Should It Stay or Should It Go?

Friday, March 10, 2006

Under Cover

Artist: Air Miami
Album: Me, Me, Me
Source: Promo

The best thing about promo copies of CDs is obvious: they're free. Sure, you may have to do a little work in exchange for them (very little, a lot of the time), but you save $10-20, and usually get paid on top of that.It's the sweetest scam going, if music is what you like. And it is what I like, fo' sho'.

But if what you also like is the disc's packaging, then sometimes with promos you're SOL. Many record companies scale back the packaging on promos in one way or another, from minimal carboard sleeves (in lieu of the standard jewel case) to blurb-happy black-and-white covers that trumpet the disc's myriad qualities in lieu of showing off the cover art. The reasons are clear, and hard to argue with.

For a packaging fan, it can be tough. This promo copy of Air Miami's sole long-player came in the drab, monochrome cover seen here. Contrast it with the "real" cover art here, and you can see what you're losing with the promo. But the truth is that sometimes you really do get what you pay for - I got to forego the purchase price that "civilians" had to shoulder, and all I got in return was a phenomenally fun album of jangly indie-pop (courtesy of 2/3 of the latter-day lineup of Unrest) that never gets stale or boring, delivered in a cover that is both.

SISOSIG? Cover-art issues aside, this album is just great. Its baker's dozen tracks are all too brief, and all too good to pass up. (It is worth noting that while everything here is fab, none of it even touches the heights hit by Air Miami's debut 7", the under-two-minute burner "Airplane Rider.")


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