Slight Disappointment: The Sounds – Crossing the Rubicon

I didn’t want to write this post. I’ve been avoiding it, hoping that if I just hold out a little while longer, the album would grow on me and I’d fall in love again.

But dammit, that just didn’t happen.

Even writing this, I still love The Sounds. I love their post-modern New Wave / 80’s reminiscent sound. Their live show is a ton of fun, and I just dig ’em all around. The new album though? It falls kind of short.

The lead single “No One Sleeps When I’m Awake” stood out from older tunes as a more mature, yet still very Sounds-like sound (I blame Monday for this nonsensical sentence). The lyrics were humble and inspiring, and the music itself was still groove filled. Other tunes such as “Beatbox” and “Midnight Sun” also walked the fine line of growing as a band without abandoning what got them there in the first place. Nice.

The rest of the album struggles to find a proper footing. Tunes like “Underground,” “Dorchester Hotel,” and “4 Songs and a Fight” fall in between what the band wants to be, and what sounds the band excels in. With shaky songwriting and aspirations, it makes it a hard album to latch on to.  Instead of going all “Rubicon,” newbies should pick up “Living In America” or “Dying To Say This To You” to see what this band is really about.

As far as the new album is concerned, I think The Sounds will become even more interesting after they’ve crossed that rubicon, and made it to the other side.


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