Friday, September 26th, 2008...11:00 pm

Anglo-Audiophile: The Reviews » Spiralling in Lucid Dreams But I Never Miss a Beat

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[On a side note, before I even start the entry: God I’m so clever]
“Spiralling” – Keane
Keane has always had the potential to be incredibly emo. The band’s lyrics are incredibly depressing, even when the song itself is in a major key. What stops Keane from being the emo kings is the main song writer, Tim Rice-Oxley’s, proclivity for technological experimentation. Rice-Oxley’s love of synthesizer and sound effects, as well as the band’s overall aesthetic, keeps Keane’s depressing lyrics from turning the band into another one-note band. This fact is crystallized in Keane’s latest single “Spiralling.” If one was to simply read the lyrics, with no knowledge of what the actual song sounded like or who the band was, it could be assumed that “Spiralling” was by a run of the mill emo band. However Keane’s heavy use of synthesizer, drum effects, and various digital doo-hickeys along with Tom Chaplin distinctive vocals mark the song as one by Keane, who are anything but run of the mill. The only part that can’t be taken seriously by anyone who has heard “Once in a Lifetime” is the spoken bridge, which just sounds too ridiculous coming from Tom Chaplin. In all other aspects “Spiralling” is an interesting and musically adventurous song that leads Keane’s sound in a new direction without being jarring. Grade: B+

“Lucid Dreams” – Franz Ferdinand
Franz Ferdinand have always been clever. Since their debut, the band has been able to write pop music that has depth without sounding pretentious. With “Lucid Dreams” Franz Ferdinand returns to the dance floor that they came from while continuing on the intellectual, and at times nonsensical, path that their lyrics have been going down since their second album. The band also continues it’s musical expansion in its incorporation of mood-setting instrumentation and guitar effects while Alex Kapranos reaches into his falsetto range during “Lucid Dreams” chorus and bridge. The band also more fully incorporate the keyboards that had taken a back seat on their second album which gives the song a fuller and more danceable sound. It seems that despite their long absence Franz Ferdinand are still quite clever. Grade: A

“Never Miss A Beat” – Kaiser Chiefs
Kaiser Chiefs biggest problem is that they must be listened to repeatedly before being appreciated. Unlike their peers, Kaiser Chiefs tend to write songs that must be listened to a few times before the inherent good qualities can be heard. Sometimes a few times turns into 10 times, but eventually the good in the song will come through. In the past Nick Hodgson, the man behind the majority of the band’s catalogue, has been able to write a few tunes that are instantly loveable by the masses. This time however it seemed that he was unable to produce such a song. “Never Miss a Beat” consists of boring instrumentals and inane lyrics and can be described as mediocre at best. At worst it’s a poorly written try at social commentary from a band that can do so much better. Kaiser Chiefs are no strangers to making a socio-political point, but in “Never Miss a Beat” the band comes across as platitude spewing rockers. But, as with the majority of the Kaiser Chiefs catalogue, it has it’s redeeming qualities. It just might take a few listens to hear. Grade: C

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