7 of 17 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This review is from: Pleased To Meet You (Audio CD)
This is a come-down from the modest but oddly alluring climbs of "The It-Girl". Partly, it has to be said, it seemed as if Wener's time (1996 britpop fervour) had come and gone, by this album's release. While the musical palette is more wide than before, much of Sleeper's (albeit shallow) charm is missing. The typical British revelry at mundanity is discarded for lyrics that often seem ill-thought-out, lazy and decidedly lacking in wit. Often, average choruses are over-milked. Many of the lyrics merely represent empty posturing. The musical sound is more varied, but often the boringly AOR gets the upper-hand. There is a pervading lack of energy and verve to proceedings. Perhaps the main problem is the lack of those irrestible tunes that made "The It-Girl" palatable. While there are impressive moments, chiefly Nothing Is Changing, the passable pop of Romeo Me, the jaunty Firecracker and comfortably the highlight, Breathe. This is a dreamy, giddy torch song which is in a different league to the rest. Louise Wener's accentuated breathy singing is a definite aid to this track; in contrast to most, where it is grating. Her vocals always were an acquired taste; they are often as ordinary as possible, but with good, suitable material in "Breathe" they are almost sensuous. Whether or not it would have been a good move if Sleeper had stuck to their limited but spirited original style is besides the point; it would have taken far better songwriting, whatever the style, for the album to succeed, and for Sleeper to have persisted. Wener seems to have vanished; perhaps a shame, as she was preferable to most of the one-dimensional britpop bands like Ocean Colour Scene and Kula Shaker.