Moments of Genius,
This review is from: Hold On Now, Youngster... (Audio CD)
I have felt compelled to write a review for this album for some time. Partly because L.C. are a Cardiff based band and I am from Cardiff and partly because I like to support lesser known bands. But mainly because I keep returning to this album time and time again. There is something about it that keeps calling me back.
I bought this album on the strength of the track Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks which I heard played on the Zane Lowe show on BBC Radio 1 a few years ago. The energy of the song and the infectious tag at the end (one blink for yes, two blinks for no, sweet dreams sweet cheeks, we leave alone) made me stop what I was doing and wonder what the album was like.
On first listening to the album, I was disappointed. Some of the tracks seemed bizarrely titled (This is how you spell "Ha Ha Ha, we destroyed the hopes and dreams of a generation of faux-romantics"), some tracks seemed noisy and hectic (Broken Heartbeats Sound Like Breakbeats) and others irritated me with their odd lyrics ( e.g. `You said "Send me stationery to make me horny"').
I was just about to eject the CD and relegate it to the Never To Listen To Again box when Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks started to play. It was then that I was reminded of why I had bought the album and of the potential this band has. Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks made me want to jump and dance until I was exhausted and I played it over and over.
After wearing out Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks (word perfect, air guitar perfect, air drums perfect!) I began to explore the rest of the album with more intent. Some of the songs still didn't work for me (Don't Tell Me To Do The Maths) but others began to reveal their beauty like a slow sunrise. You! Me! Dancing! quickly became my outstanding track of the year and probably wore the repeat button out more than Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks. From the slow single chord strums at the start which build and build and build to explode into the first verse right up to the glockenspiel outro, the song is 6mins and 46 seconds of ecstasy and fully deserved its airtime on the Budweiser commercial.
Other moments of genius that have put their hands up over the last few years include the beautiful Knee Deep At ATP which starts off quickly but suddenly turns into a slow and poignant observation of betrayed love (`And I know he took you to the beach, I can tell from how you bite on your cheek every time the sand falls from your insoles').
And We Exhale And Roll Our Eyes In Unison features a bridge section at 1 min 40 secs that just fills you with hope and happiness. It barely lasts a minute but you can see thousands of stadium-going fans singing it over and over whilst the band turn their microphones off and just keep the beat going.
And the final hidden untitled track is a delightful but short eclectic mix of keyboards, drums, guitars, glockenspiel, strings and what sounds like bagpipes! It fits the bill perfectly as a closing track. I just wish there were more words.
So this album has been an evolution for me. Even today, I still hear something new every time I listen to it. It tells me that sometimes music has to be worked at. That sometimes music is not always obvious. That sometimes music keeps the moments of genius to itself until you have earned the right to hear them. I love this album and can't wait for the next. Long live Los Campesinos!