By Trent Warner
Staring at the cover of Tennis’ new album Yours Conditionally, I can’t help but feel that I’m staring at a sun-bleached portrait of my parents in the mid to late ‘70s, shortly after they would have met. The album harkens to that period, where my parents were falling in love; my mom had the same tight curly hair, and my dad had a hilarious, if not ironic, Gregg Allman-esque mustache, both like Tennis’ Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley.
Through its softness, opener “In the Morning I’ll Be Better,” reminds the listener that your physical or mental exhaustion can be cured by morning. Atop Moore’s soft falsetto, the reminder is bittersweet, like ice cream melting down the cone and into your hand on a brazen summer day.
Like a long-term relationship or a particularly scorching summer, the album kind of moves in and out of a haze; there are moments of heartache and grandeur. Besides the above, “Modern Woman” and “Ladies Don’t Play Guitar” are two standouts. The first is a heartbreaking lament for friendships lost, which uses musical repetition and haze as a means to an end. The second is a sarcastic take on the instances where females have been (and still are) treated as muses, not musicians, in music journalism. The sting of its wit and of its guitar don’t go unnoticed.
Unfortunately for Tennis, I don’t think this album will stand the test of time quite like my parents (29 years and counting!). It’s enjoyable, light, airy, and sweet, but fades from mind too quickly.Mutually Detrimental, Tennis, Yours Conditionally