Album Review



by Shout Out Louds

Dew Process
7.9 / 10
25th November 2010

Reviewed by Brannavan Gnanalingam

Sweden’s Shout Out Louds clearly have had a great grasp on writing songs, and their career throughout the last decade has included some absolute blinders (e.g. ‘Tonight I Have to Leave It’, ‘The Comeback’). Their music could easily draw comparisons to bands like Phoenix while the music’s restlessness and melodic sensibilities bear striking resemblance to the legendary Kiwi band The Bats. However, their albums have mostly suffered from an inconsistency in songs – the filler never came close to the pop masterworks they sit alongside. Their latest and third album, Work, is perhaps their strongest collection of songs, and it certainly is their most consistent album.

The album gets off to a rollicking start with ‘1999’. An unbearably catchy piano riff gets the album going, and while disappointingly the riff disappears for the rest of the song, the resulting song is transcendent in its pop glory. ‘1999’ confirms their ability to write a pop gem, and the rest of the album follows on from its lead. And while the lyrics are occasionally a little awkward throughout (often you can tell English isn’t their first language), and the album does maintain a samey-ness which could benefit from a bit of deconstruction, there are enough little musical flourishes which hint at considerable talent – e.g. the highlife riff of ‘Candle Burned Out’, the honky-tonk of ‘Walls’, or ‘Throwing Stones’ (which all but confirms the Bats’ comparison).

It’s hard to say whether this album will win them the fans that they’ve threatened to win throughout their career – but this album really does have broad appeal. And while the arrangements and instrumentation aren’t particularly revolutionary, the Shout Out Louds manage to do for a whole album what their career has suggested they are able to do: write a whole bunch of really memorable songs and turn it into one highly enjoyable album.

NZ Release Date: 15th March 2010

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