Album Reviews: Week 6

Art & Lit Music

Pick of the week

The School

Loveless Unbeliever

Elefant

Rating: 3/5

This album is so pop that the songs practically burst with brass and handclaps and doo-wah vocals, trying to push listeners into dancing along in a frantic, happy/sad way on endless nights out.

It’s old-school 60s stuff, clearly influenced by girl-groups as much as more recent introverted indie bands.

The problem is that the lyrics are also heavily influenced by 60s pop, and though simple songs can be great, I’m not sure that this is the best they can do.

I want them to sing about something other than summer, love and heartbreak. Judging from this effort, I’m sure it can be done.

–Charlotte Geater

Not a member of “the fanclub”

Shadows

Teenage Fanclub

PeMa

Rating: 2/5

After waiting five years since Man-Made Teenage Fanclub have returned with a new album that makes you wonder what they’ve been doing in that period, because frankly it’s the same old melodic indie-pop.

Of course when you’ve been around as long as “the Fanclub” there’s a temptation not to mess with a winning formula, but these songs don’t really grasp me as the best Teenage Fanclub songs (see “Bandwagonesque” for further details) used to.

–James Benge

Cut from the same mould

To The Sea

Jack Johnson

Island

Rating: 3/5

The sixth instalment from Jack Johnson mercifully shows some break from the norm.

After five albums of surf-style crooning over acoustic guitar, the man has finally discovered its electric sister instrument.

In “You And Your Heart” we find him riffing out a harsher intro than we’ve encountered before, and the verses even reveal a little rock-star posturing, although the chorus, and much of the album, is cut from the original mould.

–Martha Lee