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If you’re looking for a cheerful, instrument-stuffed indie-pop album that doesn’t take itself too seriously, look no further than Koria Kitten Riot. Fronted by songwriter Antti Reikko, their third LP, Rich Men Poor Men Good Men, is an album that’s sure to make you smile – either on a song-by-song basis or as a whole.

It’s the kind of giddy, instrument-stuffed indie-pop that Annuals, Decemberists and Grandaddy purveyed in the mid-’00s, but with a touch more whimsy. There are a few songs here that sound like they’ve been inspired by the Flaming Lips, but there are others whose harmonies and melodies remind me of those of a later-day Bright Eyes.

There’s also an element of hope that seems to pervade the record. Reikko regularly dissects each song on their Facebook page, allowing listeners to get closer to the heart of what the band’s music means.

The album’s title track ‘The Earth Will Spin Around’ is the perfect example of this – it starts with a lighthearted guitar line before exploding into anthemic three-part harmonies. The album continues to move in this uplifting direction with ‘Sea’ and ‘Forever’s Going to be a Long, Long Time’, both displaying the bands trademark three-part harmonies, as well as a dreamlike, americana inflected melody.

‘Songs of Hope and Science’ is a wonderful way to begin the year, and an incredibly well-written album from a band with a knack for prodding humanity in its ribs while highlighting all the good points it has. It’s a record that teaches us that there is always something positive to focus on, and that’s a good thing.

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