Most helpful critical review
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Didn�t quite do it for me
on 6 August 2001
Well, I hate to fly in the face of the prevailing opinion, and I fully admit I'm obviously the exception here, but this album didn't quite do it for me. Sorry!
I think your response to this album will probably depend a lot on what you thought of their previous album, Illumina. If you liked it, you'll love The House We Built. If, like me, you preferred the quirky, synth-pop surprises, melodies and harmonies of Alisha Rules The World, and found Illumina a bit flat and lacking, you might not. To me, Illumina's straight-forward guitar, drum and bass setup seemed to be a bit of an enforced change of direction in the absence of Dave Stewart's production and a weaker collection of songs - "we might not have anything unusual but hey! we're a 'proper' band now" - and the trend is continued here.
Again, it's only my opinion, but the songs and arrangements on The House We Built (with three exceptions) seem really very dull and without melody, and the lyrics are uninspired. They're still trying to cram too many words into a line and the crass man-bashing sounds tired and automatic. But there is an upside ...
It's impossible to dislike the sisters too much, and the three standout songs - The House We Built, Pretender Stole My Heart and If You Want Me Back - are truly superb.
I think I was expecting the album to be more like their first rather than their second, and this is obviously not the direction they're moving in. As such it's probably just not my sort of thing any more, which is why I didn't get on with it. But I thought it was worth posting a review to get this angle in, not simply to slag it off but because others might feel the same way too.
Full apologies to those who loved it!