** (out of 4)
(Fat Possum Records)
If the sophomore effort from the husband-wife team Tennis were an activity, it would be something along the lines of buying a new pair of socks or browsing through an antique store--a fine way to pass the time, but not something to get your heart racing.
The Denver band wrote its full-length debut “Cape Dory” during a 7-month sailing voyage. While they're probably the envy of every hipster on the block (seriously, how anti-mainstream is a sailboat?), on “Young and Old” the duo avoids any awareness of life outside their loving little bubble.
That's not to say the band isn't taking a stab at tough times. It's just that any intended anguish isn't palpable. "Paradise is all around/But happiness is never found," Alaina Moore sings on "High Road," but her voice is all meadows and fuzzy bunnies.
"Young and Old" is best when Moore and Patrick Riley let you know how much they're enjoying jamming with Black Keys drummer/the album’s producer Patrick Carney. Jazzy piano, drumming and maracas dress up songs like "My Better Self," though it still manages to sound sleepy when carried by Moore's Florence-Welch-on-Xanax voice.
At least Moore and Riley, who met in college while studying philosophy, are putting their philosophical knowledge to good use when it comes to their marriage. "This must be rare/’cause nothing else could compare/not that I'm aware of," Moore croons on "Traveling." Try finding that on a romantic e-card.
In concert: Feb. 26 at Lincoln HallCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun