Album Review: The Temper Trap, "The Temper Trap"

London-based Australian soft-rockers, The Temper Trap weren't happy with the production of their 2009 debut album Conditions, feeling it took the "edge" off their music. Now with their eponymous follow-up, the band seems a lot happier with the end product. I haven't read any interviews testifying to this, but the music itself speaks volumes, sounding classic and accomplished straight from the parping synths and skittery rhythms of opener Need Your Love to the cinematic falsetto of closing track Leaving Heartbreak Hotel. This sounds like a band that gelled in the studio and hit it off.

Surprisingly, given the fuss made about wanting to sound edgy, the album has none of the rough edges that that would suggest, even on London's Burning, their dub n' ska flavored testament to the sudden unscheduled expansion of youth credit on the streets of London last summer.

The lack of "edge"—an often overused word in music—is because of the album's organic integrity. The delicate afrobeat and Coldplay-esque textures of The Sea Is Calling and the late-nite bruised soul feel of Miracle may suggest that they are trying to tick too many boxes, but as a single, continuous sit-through-and-listen the album works excellently, keeping an overall tonality while shuffling in a lot of variety, and, most importantly for those of us with too many dust-covered "edgy" CDs, repaying repeated listens.

28th May, 2012
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