Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The Radio Dept - Clinging To a Scheme

Another 2010 album then, The Radio Department are an Indie Pop band with Dream Pop influences from Sweden. They are a modern interpretation of Cocteau Twins, with a little more emphasis on a Pop outlook, with this album being their third album.

The songs follow basic patterns but detailed production and a change in song styles creates a vast depressing feel to the album. Much alike Belle & Sebastian in terms of drum beats and light percussion, Clinging To a Scheme has a bigger focus on the guitar playing and instrumentation. This is where they make themselves known, the attention to detail on a big number of tracks gives them a nice overall and polished look.

'David' being released as a single, it's a cheerful string stab and electronic based song. I didn't like this song as much as the others, some that caught my ear were the ones with better production and guitar work, such as 'Memory Loss' and 'Four Months In The Shade'.

'This Time Around' has a great riff which is very 90's style. The lo-fi style of vocals gets a little old, but it fits with the music like moth's to a flame. If it was a clean vocal effort, I probably would hate it, that's what I imagine. Dream Pop doesn't need these clean vocals, they need to have reverb and delay, it's what distinguishes Dream Pop from the rest.

Stripped down, most of the songs follow a basic Pop rhythm, which is easy on the ear, not challenging musically, but the guitar work and, in some cases, Reggae like feel (Never Follow Suit) make this a shining summer album. 

The vocal samples they use also fit in well, it gives this album a different, separate feel. Comparing it to other Dream Pop like albums in the same nature, such as Beach House. From this comparison, The Radio Department have a better focus on guitar and Pop songs, where as Beach House have a better understanding of structure and rhythm. The orchestral sounds keep this album moving, without them, it would be a little bland.