Music » Critics' Picks

The Format

8 p.m. Monday, May 7. Off Broadway (3509 Lemp Avenue).

by

"Snails" is a prime example of the songwriting prowess of Sam Means and Nate Ruess, a.k.a. the two members of The Format. Just a few intimate details, well-turned phrases and acoustic strums convey bittersweet volumes about romance, mortality and nature. "Take it slow, show me that you care/And love's not just a flare on my sleeve/Sleep well, I pray that cardboard boxes set the stage/'Cause wood grain makes all man-made things seem so out-of-date/Life is not a play, it's what we make of the people we love/Snails see the benefits, the beauty in every inch/So why are you so quick to kiss?" Even more impressive, the Format has two albums full of other tunes just like it.

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