The debut album from Longview, Mercury
is a strong collection of songs that frequently hints at even better things to come from the group. Tight lyrics, good writing and a willingness to not be bracketed in the same way as many of their contemporaries serve Longview well, with the twelve tracks here amounting to an interesting and worthwhile debut release.
UK Indie newcomers Longview release their debut album on the back of their recent single "Further". One of my favourite singles of the year, I was expecting great things from the album. Sadly, Mercury, is a disappointment.
The album opens with "Further". It's got all the ingredients required to get all true indie fans excited. Jingly jangly guitars, a memorable chorus that demands to be sung along to and that indefinable anthemic je ne sais quoi! The quality remains high on the second track, "Can't Explain". It's full of classic guitar riffs which build to a climax before going all quiet, allowing lead singer, Rob McVey, to show off his fine vocal range.
McVey does have a great voice. This makes the fact that the lyrics are so poor even more difficult to come to terms with. For example; 'Go anywhere for you I would' ("I Would"), 'You don't know what you do to me' ("When You Sleep"). These lyrics are classic boy fancies girl, boy goes out with girl, boy gets dumped by girl and repeat. There's no depth beyond this and it all becomes a little tedious after track 3.
It's about this time that I suddenly realise I'm listening to a pale imitation of Embrace. Most of the album follows the dull tepid indie route the Yorkshire four piece trod some four years ago. Like Embrace Longview will probably sell by the bucket load. But then again, where are Embrace now? Longview even use Embraces classic lyric 'Come back to what you know' in one of their songs!
It's not all bad. "If You Asked" features some lovely female vocals which saves the song from mediocrity. "Will You Wait Here" is a good tune;a few dramatic violins make the track stand out from the crowd. But the worst horrowshow is left 'til last. "This Is" is a blatant rip off of The Verve's early work. There's a fine line between being influenced by a band and actually copying their work. Longview cross that line here.
In summary, this is one of those rare cases where you really should just buy the single. The rest of the album doesn't even come close to the superb "Further". A great shame. --Dan Tallis
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