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'While We're Young' by Department of Eagles

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Department Of Eagles: A 'Young' Band At Its Best

Department Of Eagles: A 'Young' Band At Its Best

'While We're Young' by Department of Eagles

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It may appear on a collection of early works, but "While We're Young" represents Department of Eagles at its best. courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption courtesy of the artist

It may appear on a collection of early works, but "While We're Young" represents Department of Eagles at its best.

courtesy of the artist

Tuesday's Pick

  • Song: "While We're Young"
  • Artist: Department of Eagles
  • CD: Archive 2003-2006
  • Genre: Rock

Compilations of B-sides, "early years" material and demo recordings rarely add up to more than attempts to raise a little post-record petty cash, or maybe posthumous collections of music never made for public consumption. Too often, the result is a letdown, and a reminder that even the best songwriters sift though hours of mediocre material to find their best work.

Fortunately, Department of Eagles' new Archive 2003-2006 is an exception to the rule. Sure, some tracks here are simple practice-room sketches performed by the band's frontman, Grizzly Bear guitarist Daniel Rossen. But others, like "While We're Young," are fully formed songs that could easily have wound up on a Department of Eagles or Grizzly Bear record.

Archive 2003-2006 is nicely programmed to provide a look into the process of not only Department of Eagles, but also Rossen and bandmate Fred Nicolaus' creative lives. It allows listeners an idea of how DoE can get to a song like "While We're Young," with its floating harmonies, Django-like guitar structures and swinging snare drums from nothing but a vocal sample or single piano line.

Because Rossen and Nicolaus control the flow of their old material with such a graceful hand, their audience may never see the sloppy compilations that have ironically become commonplace with more secretive artists. It's an open-door approach that gives Department of Eagles more control, not that the band's fans would complain.

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Archive 2003-2006

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Album
Archive 2003-2006
Artist
Department of Eagles
Label
American Dust
Released
2010

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