I just don't get it. How otherwise articulate and intelligent persons, obviously possessing great musical taste (or they would not have been persuaded to buy the album in the first place), can find only one ill-fitting word to describe this album.
Depressing? The album as a whole? I cannot think of a less fitting summation. Why is it that suddenly any song that is less than a headlong rush to the final bar is now depressing? Rather, the slower songs on this album are in turns wistful, autumnal, regretful, and accepting -- but, lest this dissuade potential buyers, let me say that this is only in contrast to the interspersed up tempo tracks.
We begin with Writing To Reach You, considered by some to be the strongest track. It certainly has a lot to offer, and may have contributed to the expectations of some who expect all tracks on an album to follow a pattern set by the first track.
Continue with The Fear, probably the best track in terms of lyrics (though some would contest that assertion with either Slide Show or Blue Flashing Light (of which more anon)). It may the least romantic love song I have ever heard.
Next comes As You Are, a song which for much of its length deserves the appelation 'filler.' But then it kicks into life, and redeems itself. Still strong lyrically (as all the songs are).
Then most people's favourite, Driftwood. We have gone from high-ish tempo, to medium, to medium-quick, to upbeat, and the contrast makes Driftwood stand out even more. Superb song.
Now my favourite, The Last Laugh of the Laughter. Far too rarely do we hear piano on indie tracks, and this use of it is so subtly mixed with the guitar that it's hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. Perfect word-setting, marvelous melody and harmonies.