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Los Campesinos! - Romance Is Boring (Cover Artwork)

Los Campesinos!

Los Campesinos!: Romance Is BoringRomance Is Boring (2010)
Arts and Crafts

Reviewer Rating: 4
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Contributed by: ffwoodycooksffwoodycooks
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There must be something in the water in Cardiff. This Welsh town also gave birth to one of my persoanal favourites, Future of the Left (and mclusky, of course). Since their inception, the band has kept an almost unhealthily prolific nature with their releases. What has made the band so popular since.
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There must be something in the water in Cardiff. This Welsh town also gave birth to one of my persoanal favourites, Future of the Left (and mclusky, of course). Since their inception, the band has kept an almost unhealthily prolific nature with their releases. What has made the band so popular since their semi-recent inception is how they maintain their high standard of quality whilst changing their sound from release to release.

What is noticed right away is the darker direction the band has headed in. Granted, they have always displayed affection for the downtrodden in their lyrics, but their music has always been a colourful assault of high and rapid musical notes reminding one of a sugar rush. Their music resembles, I would imagine, the sounds that would come out of Zooey Deschanel's head after striking it with a sledgehammer. They have delivered on the promise of a less pop-oriented band that was made with their 2008 release, We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed.

The album opener, "In Medias Res" makes a sudden gearshift halfway through into a darker and moodier sound. This darkened atmosphere can be felt throughout the rest of the 15 songs. With this, it becomes apparent that this album may be received coldly by those who have warmed to the more accessibly poppy sound of their earlier records. The album as a whole seems like a grower right down to the individual songs. For example, the a capella melody in the album's first single, "There Are Listed Buildings" doesn't quite reach its peak until it merges with the chorus and attains a triumphant quality. From there on out, it starts to achieve the catchiness that it aims for.

The album contains two calm interludes, the first of which is strategically placed right after the abrasive "Plan A," giving the listener some time to catch their breath. Contrasting the first, the second interlude seems to be placed before "I Just Sighed..." to make the opening seem that much more jarring. This marks another change, in that among the shifting moods of the album, it feels like the song placements have more of a purpose.

With seven members, Los Campesinos! have to do some complicated arranging to keep all of them busy. This means the album frequently flirts with the danger of an over-occupation of activity. Sometimes it seems like there is too much going on to concentrate on the music. While it never quite crosses that threshold, it does come close. This may be my only qualm with this album. It is a small qualm that fades to the background in the bigger picture. It seems like the band has figured out how to maintain a poppy indie sound while letting the music match their often destitute lyrics.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Descendents - Milo Goes To CollegeLos Campesinos! - Hold on Now, Youngster...The Clash - London CallingRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComeAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseLos Campesinos! - We Are Beautiful, We Are DoomedAgainst Me! - Searching For A Former ClarityModest Mouse - The Lonesome Crowded WestModest Mouse - The Moon and AntarcticaOwen - At Home With

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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.
Carlo_Cabinetti (March 2, 2010)

Quality album...the song about qualifying for the Maltese football side and becoming the King of Malta after scoring the 30-yard winner in a World Cup qualifier rules.

willowrain (January 29, 2010)

i didn't like this album (reviewed it for another publication).

They have lots of talent and many good ideas, but they tried to put all the layers on at the same time. It's confused, it's irritating, and it lacks clarity. They would have benefited from a producer who could shave down the arrangements and craft each song to carry a landscape from the others. THe entire album feels like one single, long song (not as bad as "Trapped in the Closet", but also not great).

wearestillalive (January 26, 2010)

I think this record pretty much raises the bar for all other pop bands ever.

Deadpan (January 26, 2010)

I'll second the whole "Wales rules" thing. Apart from North Wales. Not such a big fan of North Wales. Fuckin' gogs.

I still only have the first album. i never got the second one because I assumed it would suck, being released so soon after the first. I guess that was a silly decision?

greg0rb (January 26, 2010)

Don't know why my dude didn't hook me up with this album, but probably better that I don't review three albums in a row for fear of a Jesse/Akimbo thing. Loved the way they stretched out and got darker on We Are Beautiful so I'll probably really like this. Good review.

thirtyseconds (January 26, 2010)

Wales rules.

ffwoodycooks (January 26, 2010)

yeah, i know
sorry, dude

madomen (January 26, 2010)

this review sucks

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