It has taken several weeks to muster up my review for the new TCS album, IN THE MUSIC. Initially, I feared it wouldn't be very positive, but as with nearly every TCS album, it takes time, patience and hearing, for it to percolate. As a lifelong rabid fan of the Trashcans, I should've known better. But, as with each previous album, the real satisfaction and joy for me comes from finally "getting it". Life, like the Trashcans, is funny that way.
What can I say, I'm a slow learner.
This album, like each of their previous albums, rewards you over time. And that is exactly why I'm a fan...they are always worth the wait.
So now, after listening to this album repeatedly over the last month, it has truly grown on me. This definitely feels like a "peeling back a layer" album for them, sound-wise and lyrically. But it is still a TCS album in every sense. What it may lack in their trademark tongue-in-cheek and verbal wordplay, it makes up for with genuine heart and gorgeous melodies throughout. This is easily the most soulful album they have ever made. From the jangling guitars on "Oranges and Lemons" to the chorus of "I Wish You'd Met Her", this album is something approaching '60s era R&B. It's still pop, it's still British, but it has a groove.
A word about my favorite song, "The Engine": it is phenomenal. It stands out as one of their best tracks in their whole catalog. Certainly, it is the equal in beauty to "Orange Fell" or "Thrupenny Tears" or "A Coda". This song is the highpoint of the album for me and reminds me exactly why I love this band so much.
Anyway, this is a stunning album from a group that truly has found a way to be "in the music" all the way through. Thank god for the Trashcans.