Two Door Cinema Club - Keep On Smiling Music Album Reviews

Two Door Cinema Club - Keep On Smiling Music Album Reviews
Efficient and impersonal, the rock band’s latest album is filled with sunny-side platitudes and peppy tempos that scan as forced fun.

Two Door Cinema Club haven’t been shy about changing with the times. On their 2010 debut, Tourist History, the Northern Ireland trio embodied a transitional era of indie rock, packaging the youthful pluck of Vampire Weekend and Arctic Monkeys with the tightly wound post-punk guitars that ran through so much UK indie during the ’00s. Over subsequent albums, however, their sound has evolved in tandem with the tastes of alt-rock radio programmers. They’ve ironed away the rumpled edges of their debut in favor of polished dance-rock, following in the footsteps of acts like Glass Animals by leaning into synthesizers and putting a slick, contemporized spin on ’80s pop influences. Consider them, if you will, farm-system indie: a band that presents as indie while positioning themselves for something greater, in hopes that with the right break or a licensable-enough song they might get called up to the alt-rock majors.

So far that hasn’t happened for Two Door Cinema Club—the group’s steady streams have never translated into real radio support—but they’re close enough to the piñata that you understand why they keep swinging. Recorded with assistance from the Killers/Bloc Party producer Jacknife Lee, a studio pro as synced to alt-radio’s wavelength as any, the band’s fifth album, Keep On Smiling, revels in the sounds of the moment, even as it ostensibly calls back to the New Wave funk of Talking Heads and INXS. It’s a record as efficient and impersonal as a frozen yogurt shop on the street level of a mixed-use condo development.

True to its title, Keep On Smiling keeps its chin up, with songs about the good old times and the even better ones that lay ahead. “We say it all of the time, the time is now, it’s now or never,” singer Alex Trimble cheers on “Wonderful Life.” The Portugal. The Man-flavored bounce of “Lucky” is similarly fit for pool playlists. But as fixated as these songs are on the bright side, they’re never all that convincing. While the group comes through as usual with hooks, Keep On Smiling’s sunny-side platitudes and peppy tempos scan as forced fun.

This mix doesn’t do these songs any favors, either. They’re imbalanced, too heavy on chirping guitars and reedy synthesizers, which along with Trimble’s falsetto tips them toward the shrill side. They beg for some thicker low end to cut through the treacle, and maybe just a hint of darkness to temper their artificial sweetness. Trimble’s cadence, meanwhile, borrows heavily from David Byrne, especially on the “Burning Down the House”-esque “Everybody’s Cool.” But those echoes of Talking Heads only underscore how desperately he lacks Byrne’s wild edge or cutting view of the world. If anything, these songs tout living the very unexamined life that Byrne’s used to mock. Keep On Smiling’s glossy veneer never disguises its particle-board center.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Two Door Cinema Club - Keep On Smiling Music Album Reviews Two Door Cinema Club - Keep On Smiling Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Friday, September 09, 2022 Rating: 5

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