Some confused Spanish students might think that Nada Surf means “surf nothing.” Far from it. Nada Surf’s sound can be compared with bands such as The Shins and Death Cab for Cutie, as they show in their new album The Weight is a Gift. Since 1995 Nada Surf has been producing the moody rock that creates an atmosphere of tranquil nonchalance. They quickly became well known with their ironically named hit “Popular,” but Nada Surf faded off the charts just as quickly. In 1998 their album The Proximity Effect nailed some intimate topics with overall well written music. Although it was in instant hit in Europe, it was overlooked in the US, and Nada Surf was thought past its time. Nada Surf countered this misconception, making a stunning comeback with the hit album Let Go. The Weight is a Gift counters the carefree attitude of their previous album with great success. It presents a softer and more melodic way of thinking while presenting common feelings that we all have at one time or another. Their most catchy song advises us to “always love,” which is probably ecstasy to an optimist. Whether you listen to it as encouragement, or as hope, “Always Love” will not let you down. However, if you can’t stand those people, then maybe the next track is for you. The lyrics “I don’t care about you anymore” contrast “Always Love” and are a withdrawal from conformity. The rest of the album seems to trade pop-fun with deep reflection, almost in order. Reflective lyrics such as “All is a game/ you forgot to play” are countered with ones that proclaim, “I’m going to have a party.” The entire album progresses in this fashion. The Weight is a Gift presents a profound aspect of our lives today, as if the writer was watching from behind a glass window. Nada Surf challenges the ideals of our lives with maturity and depth, while still having the feel of a party. Listening to this CD gives you an all-around good feeling and is the perfect background music for relaxation or homework.