They're apt to split opinion, much like an unmentionable sandwich spread. But tastes aside, Jamie Hartman's five-piece band has created a marketable sophomore that indie-pop fans will devour.
Drama, emotion and good, old-fashioned song writing reign supreme as Brit boy Hartman delivers 'Apologise- co-written with Natalie Imbruglia. Already a radio favourite, this opener is cheesier than a platter of cheddar, yet you can't argue its catchiness.
If I Let The Ladder Down follows suit with oodles of Beachboys-esque guitar riffs and American diner appeal. Next up, soul diva Joss Stone picks up the mic on big ballad Stalemate, balancing Hartman's indie-pop vocal perfectly. Sadly, Stone's forced warblings seriously grate towards the end of this otherwise potential hit.
The title track saves everybody's day with its down-tempo, sophisticated, gliding melodies and a gleaming feature from platinum pop-rock boy Jason Mraz. Even brighter shines the upbeat Questions & Answers; brimming with punchy strings and staccato vocals.
What goes up must come down and even the most advanced hairstylist could not compete with lowlight Therapy. Drama school tutors will love it and that's where the admiration ends.
She Is Love is equally as over-emotional with high-pitched whimpers and lyrics like, ''Here I go again, skating on the ice/And it's silly!''.
More filler follows until All Played Out pops up out of the blue with summery hints of new school Zero 7 and festival-friendly crescendos. Final melancholy number Letters ends things nicely on an album that yields numerous potential hit singles yet does little to leap out from the pack. --Elle J Small
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Ben's Brother is London-born Jamie Hartman. Battling Giants follows his debut album Beta-Male Fairytales
, which contained the Ivor Novello Award-nominated single "Let Me Out". An experienced songwriter who has written with an array of the UK’s premier artists, including the likes of Will Young, Lemar, Beverley Knight, McFly, Jack MacManus, Emma Bunton, Natalie Imbruglia, David Jordan and Tom Baxter (and penned Will Young’s hit "All Time Love"), Battling Giants
features performances from Joss Stone (on "Stalemate") and Jason Mraz (on "Battling Giants").