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NEW YOUNG PONY CLUB The Optimist (2010 UK 10-track CD album - Self-produced and more importantly self-funded and self-released The Optimist is the sound of a band taking full control of their present and future circumnavigating their own way.With no four on the floor no cowbell and no monotone sexy talk the creative freedom enjoyed by the band has opened up a new experimental side as shown by the psychedelic-dub- balladry of Stone and the atmospheric cracked beauty of Architect Of Love and the singles Lost A Girl Chaos and soon-to-be-huge We Want To. Its an assured deliciously adventurous next step for New Young Pony Club open your ears and have a listen!)
Before hitting play on The Optimist, there's a fear that it's going to be a less timely rehearsal of New Young Pony Club's 2007 debut. And while the fever of that LP came from its direct rip of the early 80s, its aloof riot-starting propensities and conscious eclecticism became listless by the third playback.
Thankfully, the band have returned with a triumphant LP which ceremoniously leaves the posturing behind, delivering a freer sound built on an exciting mix of crescendo, space and charm rather than quips clothed in layers of smut. Frontwoman Tahita Bulmer's vocals envelope the sound unafraid, cut loose from their quasi-spoken cage of pretence.
It's astonishing to hear the difference between the NYPC of new and old, yet so apparent even from The Optimist's first track, Lost a Girl. It's a glistening pop song full of stops, starts, lurching hooks and slightly dissonant vocals that defiantly possess anything but the faux-nonchalance of the debut. “I’m making you smile, why am I doing that?” she sings, brutally picking apart a relationship dead in the water, with more openness in the one line than at any time in Fantastic Playroom.
The range on this album is colossal, even though its influences are still more or less paraded; take the title-track's whirling, steam-engine keyboard parts, transplanted straight from The Horrors' reinvention of My Bloody Valentine, and the PJ Harvey-recalling sadness on the album's ballad, Stone. But there's far more than mimicry on offer here; colossal key-changes and an audible sense of excitement become the album's revelation.
The Optimist suffers from a slight top-loading, but the expertly self-produced twists and turns within its songs more than compensate. sure-hit-single We Want To's exhilarating harmonies and so-far-away-from-artful chorus are expertly structured, polarising with the way Before the Light pitches a frustrated, drone-like lead vocal against the sugar of Sarah Jones and Lou Hayter's backing.
The contrasts are ecstatic, setting in stone just how remarkable a comeback New Young Pony Club have pulled off. The Optimist is a super-smart pop album at the top of its game. --Natalie Shaw
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Top Customer Reviews
Theres upbeat: 'Dolls' 'Chaos' and 'We Want To' and then mysterious dark and delicious 'Lost a Girl' 'Rapture' 'The Optimist' 'Before the Light' ending with down right gorgeous and heartbreaking 'The Architect of Love'
No its not Fantastic Playroom part 2 - but it's a progression of the NYPC sound and a great one at that.
I really would like to see this band truly succeed because the enjoyment I've got from listening to their music (I like it in other words). However the real test for what comes next is whether they can balance the depth and maturity of this work with the spark and pop ambition of the last. I hope they manage it for however long they may carry the baton for this genre of pop.
Their new album 'The Optimist' demonstrates considerable development both
in compositional elan and a broader and more varied sonic style.
The sound is bigger, better and brasher in the nicest possible way.
There are ten tracks in the collection, all of them chock-full of the kind of
sunny pop ambience which could set the summer alight if it has the power
to hang on in there until the beach parties are ready to roll.
The spirit of The B52's is alive and well in more than a few of these fine songs.
Tahita Bulmer's deliciously deadpan vocal delivery, the crisp, boisterous beats
and infectious sing-along hooks keep that iconic band's spirit alive.
'We Want To' is a cracking little anthem full of good energy and well-constructed
melodic and harmonic ideas. So too 'Dolls', a scintillating blast of fresh air!
When Ms Bulmer sings "I thought I had a brain/I don't seem to have one" I found it
impossible to agree with her! This is intelligently crafted pop of the very highest pedigree!
Andy Spence (guitar), Len Hayter (keys) and Sara Jones (drums) put flesh on the bones
of these simple but stylishly convincing arrangements with confident aplomb.
Other standout tracks include the deliciously stripped-down 'Oh Cherie' which
bumbles along happily for five or so minutes without need of excessive decoration
to make its mark and final track 'Architect Of Love' which brings the album to a
low-key but memorable close with its tasty reverb-laden guitar arabesques and
economically four-square beat. Ms Bulmer delivers the downbeat melody like a dark angel.
Refreshing, unaffected and packed full of fun, 'The Optimist' is an unpolished
gem more than worthy of both our attention and our applause.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've been a fan of NYPC ever since I saw them on the NME roadshow thingy along with Klaxons, CSS and Sunshine Underground. Read morePublished on 18 Jun. 2010 by Peter Howard
I was invited to a gig and bought this album beforehand so I knew the music etc, only to find myself completely hooked on this album, its tunes and the beautiful performance! Read morePublished on 6 May 2010 by W. Bloem
Checked out the previews...liked 'em, went on to you tube...loved 'em. Then brought the album. So glad i did! NYPC rock. Read morePublished on 4 May 2010 by Veyland
The album is on par if not better than their first album.
It's catchy, deep, the lyrics are funny, serious, it's everything you want in a album....Go for it!!