If you spent the previous decade keeping up with a wimpier stripe of UK rock music, is shaping up to be a hell of a year-- by May, we'll have already seen new albums from Badly Drawn Boy, Tom McRae, Athlete, and Keane. So I suppose it's as appropriate a time as any for early s hype and Take That ghostwriters Turin Brakes to reintroduce themselves. Weirdly though it's actually as unsettling as the new Liars album. Not sonically-- it's nobody's idea of edgy; yet thanks to Olly Knight's lyrics, the listener is perpetually wondering whether he can make it through the next 10 seconds without saying something stupid. Maybe I should consult Paul Wall. Opening salvo "Sea Change" warns of a non-specific danger that has "six billion backs against the wall" and its final-countdown lyric is actually somewhat cleverly constructed. But then they flesh out the mix with incompatible disco strings and bongos that go for that "funky mixed meter" vibe and just end up sounding hilariously off-beat. Nothing on Outbursts turns out to overblown sonically, but "Sea Change" does signal a straining quality that runs throughout the album.
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Outbursts Turin Brakes Turin Brakes have had a bit of a tough time getting noticed as of late. Ever since their stellar debut The Optimist LP garnered them a coveted Mercury Music Prize nomination and helped usher in the New Acoustic Movement, their profile has continually diminished as they've struggled to settle on a contemporary sound while seemingly trying not to replicate the beautifully uncomplicated acoustic spirit of their first record. It's subsequently made for a rather uneven batch of releases, with core members Olly Knights and Gale Paridjanian adding and subtracting instruments and influences in search of an elusive style that fluctuated between overly simple, stark arrangements and rather convoluted, darker tones. With Outbursts , their first new record in three years, Turin Brakes have scaled things back considerably, with Knights and Paridjanian handling nearly all of the musical responsibilities on the album themselves, including the understated production. And while there are indeed glimpses throughout the album of the artistry that initially caught our attention in the first place, Outbursts is plagued by rather innocuous songs that are pleasant enough but never really materialize into anything lasting or significant. The bongos that erupt towards the end are a bit much, but don't really spoil the positive nature of the tune.
With their fifth full length studio album, UK folk rock duo Turin Brakes have proven themselves to be a truly exceptional band, handsomely rewarding fans like us who have been following them since discovering their promising debut. Outbursts opens with Sea Change. However, Sea Change avoids this well-worn path that can sometimes lead to a pigeonhole where little to nothing is left to imagination, or more specifically, personal relevance. With each cycle, the music grows larger, from a light current of silky guitars to a tsunami of orchestral strings and layered percussion. Sea Change promises one thing on behalf of the listener, and of the album: Things will be different. Things must be different. A step forward will be taken, no matter the cost. Mirror follows, pulling you in with a sidewinding finger-picked eightth-note guitar hook acoustic, of course , but closing the deal with a poignant vocal delivery by Olly Knights that gives Neil Finn a run for his money. Apocolips is the other song we shared recently, and in case you skipped that one too what, are you new here? In another life, it could have been a Mark Lanegan song.
The Optimist LP easily remains Turin Brakes most loved album, because it dates from a time that record companies still took chances and were willing to go the extra mile for bands. People expecting the acoustic low key songs of The Optimist LP will be initially disappointed. Outbursts , for the most part, is bigger than that album. The songs are more subtle, more complex and more diverse than on that previous album. The Sea Change Lyrically and musically, this song is the perfect introduction for the album. It starts of acoustically, then builds up with more layers and strings.