Nada Surf On 2002's Let Go, Nada Surf's Matthew Caws wanted "to know what it's like on the inside of love." The band's latest disc, The Weight Is a Gift, hints that Caws spent much of the last three years there -- and it hasn't been all sunshine and flowers. From firing the lead actress in the movie of his life ("What Is Your Secret?") to musing that he "saw life turn into a TV show . . . The person I knew I didn't really know" ("Blankest Year"), Caws has seen some turbulence.
Pure pop gems like "Imaginary Friends" break up the melancholy, but the album's darker cuts ("Comes a Time," "Your Legs Grow") are its best, when moody melody and chill-inducing harmonies leave you heavy-hearted and profoundly satisfied. The only thing separating Weight from perfection is the inconsistency of Caws' lyrics, which can go from sparkling and thought-provoking to movie-of-the-week cliché in the same verse ("To find someone you love/You gotta be someone you love"). Still, Nada fans -- save the misguided few still holding their breath for a "Popular" redux -- won't regret stopping by the band's gig at the Beachland this Thursday.