Music » Critics' Picks

Treaty of Paris

7 p.m. Wednesday, November 21. 2 Cents Plain, 1114 Olive Street.

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On "Why Am I Still Broke?" Treaty of Paris lead singer Mike Chorvat laments, "Where did all my money go/If I sold out long ago/Then why am I still broke?" — a catchy but perhaps premature rant about struggling in the music business, considering the Chicago quintet formed about three years ago. (The fact that Treaty of Paris is signed to Airport Tapes and Records, the label founded by Jack's Mannequin lead singer Andrew McMahon, likely also ensures some security.) Thankfully, its debut full-length, 2007's Sweet Dreams, Sucker, avoids the pitfalls that plague many in the overexposed emo sub-genre. The album sticks to sugary, melodic guitar rock that doesn't devolve into whiny melodrama or sad-sack power balladry. Super-glossy production and thickly layered vocal harmonies further enhance Treaty's punchy take on bubble-gum pop — making Sucker a solid collection of radio-ready singles, the sort of hook-laden songs that manage to rock the suburbs to this day.

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