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Minneapolis-based group heads back to independent label, returns to form on latest album

There are albums that push the direction of genre because they have created something so distinct and well-defined that it's impossible to ignore, and everything that comes after it is in some way reacting to the work of that album. Outside, Tapes 'n Tapes' third studio album, is not one of these, and in fact it seems to exist outside of such a musical dialogue.

The result is a collection of songs that feels free and bona fide, which isn't surprising considering Tapes 'n Tapes' recording habits. Their first album, 2005's The Loon, was made in the total isolation of a Wisconsin cabin with no running water. That heritage is very tangible on Outside, which seems to be an organic development of the band's talents, without much outside interference or influence. This is perhaps because Tapes 'n Tapes left XL, a major label, before releasing Outside on the label they founded, ibid records.

But even so, the album is not revolutionary by any means. On the surface it feels like a somewhat generic indie rock album, if such a thing exists. But as so many clich


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