So here it is: the new dEUS album. After several years and literally no fanfare whatsoever, the latest LP had been out for months before this particular major-fan even knew it existed. It took so long that we all stopped waiting for it... which is probably a good thing.
Is this a good album? It certainly is, with some great tunes and anthemic rock/pop songs that'll have you humming along and belting out the great chorus lines. There isn't a duff track on here. The trouble is that we have come to expect each dEUS release to be astonishingly good, something totally exhilarating that will take our breath away. The first 3 albums are such unique and well-crafted oddities, that they're likely to become rock classics in a decade or so, and this... this is just a really good rock album. Think of the more traditional tracks on 'In A Bar' and 'Ideal Crash' and you're in the right area.
Clearly getting on in years (in rock band terms), there is nothing here that has anything like the energy or originality we have seen from these crazy Belgians in the past. In fact, there is nothing remotely eccentric at any point on the album- no weird noises, unsettling feedback, startling chord changes or bizarro lyrics whatsoever. It's just rock music.
So while all of the songs on 'Pocket..' are well written and very catchy, there's only Tom's voice that signals it out distinctly as dEUS material and while this is still better than most other contemporary rock albums, we know that dEUS are capable of genius (albeit of a mad sort). It's great to hear them back with such a good album, but it's a shame that the 'wow' factor seems to have passed. Let's hope that the next album is as well written, with a return to the experimental strangeness that always made them so fascinating.
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