Thursday, 3 November 2011

Glasvegas - Euphoric Heartbreak


Without listening to this, i sort of know that this wont be as good as 2008's self titled album. It's a problem some artists have when a unique style is used. Glasvegas fall in to the same boat, it's not just the bands style, it's the strengh of the debut album. It will always be considered the better album in the bands future discography, like with Definitely Maybe by Oasis, which hasn't been topped and they knew it wouldn't be topped. I could name so many examples with debut's where it's been so strong and unique that other material just gets thrown the mediocre label. Well.. Euphoric Heartbreak takes the label.

Glasvegas went through some changes, they have a new drummer, producer and recording location. Why they went to California to record an album.. I have no idea. To me, the band has a dark, gloomy feel which just isn't sunny or happy, so why Sony agreed to send them to a beach house is beyond me. You cant really hear the influence in the music, some say they can.. But it's still dark and gloomy.

The album starts with a spoken word piece by James Allan's Mother, with a little build up which is atmospheric, so at least they have kept some form of originality from the 2008 debut. It's clear this album is far more poppy. It leads straight in to The World Is Yours, which was released as a free downloadable single months in advance, why Sony did this.. I have absolutely no idea, this is the best song on the album. I cant begin to imagine who was running the advertising campaign for this album, it;s well publicized the band were not happy with the way the album was advertised, i didn't see one advert on TV.. or even YouTube. 

Yeah, so The World Is Yours has much better skill by all band members, the drumming is much better due to the incarnation of an actual drummer. The band has matured, i don't think success has gotten to them. Lead guitarist Rab Allan plays well and the wall of sound is still in place. So, at this moment this album is sounding good.

Something happens from here though, You is a bad song lyrically. Musically, it's loud.. But has nothing going on, it's just a wall of noise which has no effect on me. It sounds messy during the final third of the song and the bass is plain, simple and boring. Shine Like Stars has a similar effect, which is no effect. The synths are a bad direction for the band, they need to focus on dynamics and skill, not synthesizers and drumming. Even though 2008's debut had simple drumming, that was the style, it was unique, it wasn't great.. but it was the Glasvegas way. Now with a new drummer it just sounds a little bit over produced. The songs are trying to be singles, instead of album material pieces. When you strip away the production and guitar effects, these songs are pretty shit if I'm honest.

To me, it's clear that these songs are just put together around the lyrics provided by James, it's not like they planned musically what they wanted to get out of the recording process. everything is predictable and bland. Dream Dream Dreaming is painfully horrible on the ear, bad drumming, terrible singing and bland structure. it's loud, but that's just about it.

I Feel Wrong is a much better improvement, it has the sound from the debut album, but fades away for the vocals which is something John, David, Michael, Your next door neighbour, Pitchfork and even NME don't want to hear. The vocals are not clear, they don't sound good. he's giving no emotion, which is something that i feel is seriously lacking on this album. 

Euphoria, Take My Hand sounds remarkably like The Killers, let's not lie.. it does. That aside, it's the lead single from the album and it does sound good. the drumming is consistent and vocals are clearer than some of the previous songs. It's nothing special, but it sounds like it would be good hearing it in the rain.

This is poor, you cant really say it's an improvement, because it just isn't. It's lacking passion, it's lacking good lyrics, it's lacing style and originality. I do hope they can work on the songs with more detail and just give something more than this. 

4.0

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