Even though the lead single for this record, “Brother”, came out more than a year ago it’s taken a while for this album to materialise. Originally scheduled for a much earlier release, the band were unhappy with it and went back to the drawing board rewriting about two thirds of the album, and pushing back the release date until now. The band even went as far as to cancel shows in order to get it done, and on this album have also brought in a number of co-writing collaborators.
The first thing that you notice on this album when the first track “Follow Your Fire” kicks in is the ultra smooth production that makes this an incredibly radio friendly proposition. Almost every song on the album is a potential radio single and the band have clearly been influenced by the likes of One Republic and Imagine Dragons in the way that they write their songs now with arenas in mind, the lyrics being sung back to them by tens of thousands.
If you’re a fan of what brought the band to the table in the first place, namely songs like “High Hopes” and “All I Want”, the new change in direction might be a bit off putting. Songs like “I Wouldn’t Be” and “Temple Bar” strip back the production, however, and work as a way of not only placating old fans, but also showing that behind all the bells and whistles attached to this album there is genuine talent in the group.
While their second album didn’t do what the band had hoped, this record will probably push them back to the top of Irish exports that can sell out massive gigs and garner a ton of radio play, and elevate the band to the levels of Coldplay or The Script. It would be interesting to hear how the songs translate to a live setting outside of the confines of the studio. In the end, what we have here is a slice of sing-along pop that lyrically isn’t all that deep, but features some very catchy hooks and choruses and doesn’t outstay it’s welcome.
These are the wise words and opinions of our Kevin Dillon, @kevinwritestuff.
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