http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/7ebc53517953ccf2b75b2952b88a403558eff216.jpg The Orchard

Ra Ra Riot

The Orchard

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3 0
August 24, 2010

"A mother so cold and gray/And though she gives you one, she takes one away," sings Wes Miles in "Massachusetts," clearly referring to the ocean that claimed bandmate John Ryan Pike prior to Ra Ra Riot's 2008 debut. With dubby beats, choral vocals and signature strings, it's the most haunted song on the group's second LP, a set of genteel indie pop swinging between Dirty Projectors' ornate chamber music and the prep-school dance party of Vampire Weekend. The latter's Rostam Batmanglij adds bump to "Do You Remember," an abstract riff on Hall and Oates soul that, like the best tracks here, offers a leg up from mourning – into lust, love, life. If the textures still outshine the hooks, well, maybe that's fitting.

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Bleeding Love”

    Leona Lewis | 2007

    In 2008, The X Factor winner Leona Lewis backed up her U.K. singing competition victory with an R&B anthem for the ages: "Bleeding Love," an international hit that became the best-selling song of the year. The track was co-penned by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (whose radio dominance would continue with songs such as Beyonce's "Halo" and Adele's "Rumour Has It") and solo artist Jesse McCartney, who was inspired by a former girlfriend, Gossip Girl actress Katie Cassidy. Given the song's success, McCartney didn't regret handing over such a personal track: "No, no," he said. "I'm so happy for Leona. She deserves it. There are really no bad feelings."

    More Song Stories entries »