8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Given to the Wild restores hope for the British 'indie' scene, 29 Feb. 2012
Comment welcome: [...]
Before The Maccabees latest album release, Given to the Wild, I was strongly losing faith in 'indie' music in Britain. Gone are the days of The Libertines, Bloc Party and the first albums of the Arctic Monkeys and Razorlight. Despite a decent album from Kasabian in Velociraptor, I had no idea where the Indie scene was trying to go. Ed Sheeran seemed to enter and dominate the realms of soft indie from his originally promising background, whilst a the other fork in the indie road led to an unnatural and diluted, though occasionally tuneful arena that was enhabited by the likes of Friendly Fires and Two Door Cinema Club. Maybe it was just me? But I discovered far stronger music scenes in house, tech-house and similar genres.
The Maccabees could also have been considered a one album phenomenon, though their first album 'Colour it in' can't quite match the first albums of The Libertines and Arctic Monkeys. Their second album, Wall of Arms, despite a few catchy tunes such as Can You Give It?, really struggled to stand out. It deserved a few sales, but was nowhere near enough to stem the decline I percieved in 'Brit-Pop'.
It is their latest album, 'Given to the Wild', however, that has really clicked with me . The unique sound of The Maccabees is certainly present but this offers so much more. There are really catchy tunes that would never be out of place at a party, yet at the same time it is one of the most chilled and tuneful albums I have ever come across, perfect, for example, in a semi-conscious state on a long bus journey after a heavy night. There is a great rhythm running in all tracks. The lyrics are thoughtful and compliment the music in such a genuine way - something that is so rarely achieved by other bands.
Given to the Wild is definitely an 'album, album'. You are gripped from the short intro at the start to the end. It is rarely intense yet you will not want to press stop, or even pause whilst you are locked in. The lack of francticity takes nothing whatsoever away from the entertainment provided by the album. Tracks like the first single release 'Pelican' do provide a necessary bulge in tempo but are balanced to perfection with melodic tracks like 'Ayla' and 'Glimmer'. The album finishes with some strong and darker sounds in 'Unknow' and 'Slowly One' which match the height of the wildfire triggered in the imagination by the album cover. The gentler 'Grew Up at Midnight' provides a great end to the album and crishendo leaves you feeling as though you've just had a real experience with this album. You are left scrolling up through the tunes to listen back to your favourites in the time you have left as this album is packed with the the kind of tune that would ware down the rewind button. The tracks are different enough to grip you, yet similar enough to tell a great story, a truely sound structure of an album.
I would definitely recommend you listen to ths album, no matter what music you are into. I think it is an amazing album and that coming from someone whose iTunes, these days, is dominated by largely incomparable artists, such as, Durty Goodz, D Double E, Kanye West and Jamie XX.