It’s a given that Atlantic Records puts out some of today's best music, and does a lot of excellent work. They dropped the ball with The Format. When Elektra Records was absorbed by Atlantic Records, The Format was one of the casualties. It looks like Atlantic might be regretting their decision not to pick up the band.
With their sophomore full length album "Dog Problems", The Format has created something special. “Dog Problems” is an enjoyable pop record that is so off the wall creative it will leave you scratching your head and tapping your foot at the same time. The songs that are supposed to be slow and dramatic are just that, and the songs that are upbeat and happy come over that way without effort. All the songs are cheerful, but only in the music. The irony of the album is that most of the songs are about singer Nate Ruess’s most recent breakup but the lyrics and the music go together hand in hand better than you would think. If all the songs on “Dog Problems” have one thing in common, it’s that they all have a carnival type vibe to them that’s easy to notice but easy to forget because they are so enjoyable.
Standout tracks on the album are “I’m Actual”, “Oceans”, “Inches and Falling” and of course the single “The Compromise” which if it catches on like it should haunt your radio for months to come.
“Dog Problems” is THE best pop album of the year. The songs are creative on an entirely different level than most other bands out right now, and it seems to come across effortless. Nate Ruess, Sam Means, and all the other guys of The Format have something to be proud of; they’ve created an outstanding album that’s filled with songs that are both inventive and memorable. This is an absolute must listen of 2006.