music journalist since 1992 teacher since 2004 blogger since 2012 podcaster since 2020
Reviewed for Under The Radar Magazine:
Strfkr Miracle Mile (Polyvinyl)
The poster children for the hipster city of Portland, Oregon, STRFKR, return with Miracle Mile, the follow-up to the ear-catching Reptilians. Where Reptilians was a direct tribute to MGMT, Miracle Mile incorporates some Phoenix into the mix. While this is a nice blend, STFKR doesn’t do much to change up what’s happening from song to song. Synthesizers continue to play a central role in the warbling electro/indie pop concoctions. But there is a relaxed energy on Miracle Mile that speaks to the group’s songwriting confidence. Starting strong with the falsetto hums of “While I’m Alive” and polyphonic tones of “Yayaya,” the bubbly guitars play a similar refrain throughout the album. Even on the introspective “Kahlil Gibran” and the subdued Stone Roses–esque “Nite Rite” the mood is unrelentingly upbeat. Much like its predecessor, Miracle Mile masks its doom-and-gloom lyricism with so much danceability that it plays out with excessive optimism.