Album Review: Kodaline, "Perfect World"

Festivals – that’s where the great herd of modernity is given its soul, between the shit, mud, and overpriced beer and peanuts.

And on that Holy Day, when the office girls, baristas, and shelf stackers realize their connectivity to the great, nebulous 'Other,' the sacred ritual of the glo-sticks held aloft is enacted, with the blubber-thighed priestesses hoisted aloft on the necks of their beta male acolytes.

And in that moment, the great, keening anthemic song rings out from the stage, emerging almost miraculously from a non-descript-looking set of young men, humbly strumming the tools of their trade.

For the next few years that group of young men is likely to be Kodaline and the song will probably be One Day, or something quite similar.

The trick the young, earnest folk rock quartet from Dublin has mastered, as demonstrated on their latest album, is taking the small, stretched, everyday emotions of front man Steve Garrigan and stonking them up with a range of ascending musical gear changes.

On High Hopes, the song starts with Garrigan's bruised voice, sparsely accompanied. Then jangly guitars, tremulous piano, echoey drums, and throbbing bass kick in, by which time Garrigan's voice is flailing around then looking for a place to hide.

It's a good trick and it has its moments, but the drawback is that, over the length of an album, the over-emotive singer, enjoying his surging musical catharses, can, like the blubber-thighed maiden on your shoulders, get just a little tedious.

(Listened to while flying over the Himalayas)

Colin Liddell
Revenge of Riff Raff
25th February, 2014
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