To Force a Fate (Lookout!)
by Evan Solochek
The second album from this Chicago quartet offers up a meandering journey of primarily melodic, yet sporadically brazen, rock ‘n’ roll naratted by the sultry and captivating vocals of Elizabeth Elmore. With an introduction of unadulturated indie-pop kicks and flighty vocals, The Reputation embark on a whirlwind tour of musical stylings from the Finoa Apple-esque piano-driven orchestration of “The Ugliness Kicking Around” to the smokey gritty-guitar powered “Bottle Rocket Battles.” While such an array of musical flavors would usually result in a severe case of auditory indigestion, the powerful yet crooning voice of Elmore provides the perfect remedy. No song seems out of place as long as her siren voice is there to serenade you. To continue my traditional fixation on utilizing seemingly insignificant facts as justification for an album’s worthiness, the presence of John Davis (Q And Not U) as co-writer of “Cartography” and longtime Elmore collaborator is sufficient enough reason for me to give this album the second and third listen through that most of the albums I review do not receive. But even without Davis, To Force a Fate remains an extremely infectious album of melodic confessions and brash anthems that is sure to force its way into permenent rotation in your CD collection.