Value Series, Vol. 1: Fool's Gold is a collection of leftover material from the Clemency sessions, and while still uniquely Summer Hymns, the band's knack for serving up comfort tunes - easily palatable songs with familiar melodies and unobtrusive orchestration - is taken to another level. "It's Just Not Right", a waltz with a cascading piano melody, and "Pharmon", a sly, downhome pop track, seem to prove Summer Hymns incapable of writing a bad song.
Interestingly, the album's two strongest numbers are covers, an exercise for which Summer Hymns hadn't previously shown a penchant. George Harrison's "Behind That Locked Door" is an ideal song for the group to interpret, and their version is warmly rife with gilt pedal steel and Gresham's understated yet moving vocals. Meanwhile, a rendition of Johnny Watson's "It Takes Two" is slightly more upbeat, shirking the kind of cheekiness that less tactful bands might employ.
Of course, summer is still the best season, and by evoking the unmolested pulchritude of nature at its finest, Summer Hymns win instant sustainability by dint of their production aesthetic alone.
1. Fear the Law
2. What They Really Do
3. Behind That Locked Door
4. Button Flies
5. It Takes Two
6. It's Just Not Right
8. Crazy Baby
10. No Butlers
mp3: 320kbps mp3s delivered immediately upon purchase
CD: Jewel case with full lyric booklet