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Athlete - Tourist (Cover Artwork)

Athlete

Athlete: TouristTourist (2005)
Astralwerks

Reviewer Rating: 1.5


Contributed by: RyanMRyanM
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Athlete seem somewhat preoccupied with being overtly downtrodden and purposively dramatic. From the beginning, Tourist is full of subtly changed Coldplay-esque dynamics, interweaving the strings, guitars, and of course, moody vocals into a familiar combination of palatable desire toward the emotiona.
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Athlete seem somewhat preoccupied with being overtly downtrodden and purposively dramatic. From the beginning, Tourist is full of subtly changed Coldplay-esque dynamics, interweaving the strings, guitars, and of course, moody vocals into a familiar combination of palatable desire toward the emotional. What this lacks, however, is any sort of power to display those feelings convincingly. In the end it comes off as too aware of itself and too constructed; whether or not Joel Pott's crooning is simply self-indulgence or not fails to even be important within such a commonplace structuring. In the end, it fails to deliver much of interest: Coldplay's X&Y offers all the sentimentalists their already-digested flavor of the week (which has since become readily stale) while Leaves' The Angela Test offers more in the way of sincerity. The middle ground is not such a nice place in this case.

Directly from opener "Chances" it's clear that Athlete has adopted the piano and string-laden backdrop to convey quiet reflection through song, which would be alright if everyone else didn't do the same. The strings are cued up too readily for the easy-answer for quaintness. Even so, it's hard to ignore the simplistic catchiness of the song, and the vocals fit the mood fairly well, even if they are unspectacular. "Half Life" shows the alternate direction of the record, relying more heavily on a quirky synth backing and a more upbeat, danceable feel. The album plays around with both styles throughout, although the former easily dominates the mood. Songs like "Street Map" are almost inexcusably cliché while others ("Tourist") show some flairs of personality. The transitions in the record feel disjointed, moving haphazardly from sorrow to satisfaction. What results are some enjoyable moments amidst an inconsistent whole. Some of the songs are genuinely catchy, which can sustain them for a while, but after some time, it's too much of a rehashing.

Tourist is a competent album that will most likely satisfy those looking for unchallenging, predigested emotionality through fairly standard pop arrangements, but otherwise, the album's few standout moments fail to offer a compelling reason to listen, especially with the quickly failing staying power. There's a whole lot of other choices out there offering new and different looks at this old style, and while Athlete's offering is competent, it's not so interesting.

 


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (December 17, 2005)

I hate to be Captain Obvious but why would you click on the review if you didn't want to read it?

RyanM (December 14, 2005)

"Seriously, why is this review here? Usually I hate people that ask questions like this and yes I know the drill (not just punk blah blah blah cover all kinds of non-mainstream music blah blah etc etc) but seriously, Athlete? Bland bedwetting music without a shred of relevance to anything else on this site.

Next week for your reading pleasure: Coldplay, Oasis and Keane fight it out for top review."

Quit whining, I'm the one who actually had to listen to this.

Anonymous (December 13, 2005)

Some of us are open to more than just generic punk or lame metalcore bands every review...and by no means am I defending this album...just defending its right to be here.

Anonymous (December 13, 2005)

Seriously, why is this review here? Usually I hate people that ask questions like this and yes I know the drill (not just punk blah blah blah cover all kinds of non-mainstream music blah blah etc etc) but seriously, Athlete? Bland bedwetting music without a shred of relevance to anything else on this site.

Next week for your reading pleasure: Coldplay, Oasis and Keane fight it out for top review.

Anonymous (December 13, 2005)

The first album was so, so much better, both musically and lyrically. That was back when they weren't trying to be Coldplay. One of my top 10 albums actually. This is just.... eh.

Wires is still a pretty fantastic song though.

Anonymous (December 13, 2005)

get over yourselves...the album is decent..wires is a good track.....

-bram

Anonymous (December 13, 2005)

Yeah this is the dullest shite I've heard in quite some time.

Joe

thirtyseconds (December 13, 2005)

Good review, totally agreed. Although this has been out forever yet the Darkness only just came out! Where's the love, Brain? P.S. I'm not actually an impatient child

Anonymous (December 13, 2005)

I've never said this before, but this band shouldn't be on this website. Even the Brit indie press mostly thinks this is shite.

Score is for not being able to give them a minus.

Cos (December 13, 2005)

This is exceedingly average Brit-pop. Even the cover reflects the music: grey and boring (I hope its intentional).

--Cos

Anonymous (December 13, 2005)

O RLY?
....sorry it had to be done.

Anonymous (December 13, 2005)

First...............................and probably last.........

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