First things first, Office is not Steve Carrell’s band. Now that we’ve cleared that up, they are a Chicago band made up of Scott Masson (singer/songwriter), Erica Corniel (drums), Alissa Hacker (bass), Jessica Gonyea (keyboards), and Tom Smith (guitar).The band had self released several albums, but came to attention on iTunes and their performance at SXSW in Austin. They recently signed with Scratchie Records (a division of New Line Records) in 2006 and ‘Night at the Ritz’ is the first release under their new label and the first to be widely available on compact disc (well outside Chicago anyway).
The album features new songs, but most of them are culled from the self released album, ‘Q&A’ in 2005, or demos. The new songs appear to be “The Ritz” and “Paralyzed Prince.”
The album starts strong with the up-tempo “Oh My.” “Wound Up” is the iTunes “Single of the Week” that got all the buzz going and is on the album and is quite the tune.
I thought the album is quite good (they’ve had a lot of practice in Chicago) and worthy of them being discovered by both their new label and a wider listening audience.