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Album Review: No Blues by Los Campesinos!

By Ally Marcus posted Nov 19, 2013 at 12:01 AM

Click ahead to see what music staffer Ally Marcus thinks of the new release by Los Campesinos!

No Blues—Los Campesinos!

 

            Despite what the title may suggest, Los Campesinos!’s new album is not all cheer and gaiety. Rather the lyrics have an undercurrent theme of death and stay true to lead singer/lyricist Gareth Campesinos’s penchant for melancholy. Makes sense when you realize that the title “No Blues” is actually taken out of context from the line “There is no blues that can sound quite as heartfelt as mine” from the song As Lucerne/The Low. However, the album does not have an entirely depressing feel to it. In fact, the music is largely upbeat and lively and the dark lyrics are mixed with scintillating humor.

            “No Blues” finds the band with a much more mature and cohesive sound. It is musically more consistent than their earlier work without sounding flat like their last release “Hello Sadness.” “No Blues” regains the energy the band lost without becoming too adrift in the novelty of making music. It lacks the musical distractions found on previous releases, which may be due to the loss of quite a few members over the years. Down to six members, three original, Los Campesinos! is forced to streamline their sound and rely more on the melodies and lyrics than on a frenzied concoction of instruments and chanting. This however has not stopped them from experimenting with different sounds, textures, and tuning. And all of this is for the better. They have found a balance that works well for them and will undoubtedly gain them a wider fan base that is frankly well deserved after this solid release. No Blues—Los Campesinos!

 

            Despite what the title may suggest, Los Campesinos!’s new album is not all cheer and gaiety. Rather the lyrics have an undercurrent theme of death and stay true to lead singer/lyricist Gareth Campesinos’s penchant for melancholy. Makes sense when you realize that the title “No Blues” is actually taken out of context from the line “There is no blues that can sound quite as heartfelt as mine” from the song As Lucerne/The Low. However, the album does not have an entirely depressing feel to it. In fact, the music is largely upbeat and lively and the dark lyrics are mixed with scintillating humor.

            “No Blues” finds the band with a much more mature and cohesive sound. It is musically more consistent than their earlier work without sounding flat like their last release “Hello Sadness.” “No Blues” regains the energy the band lost without becoming too adrift in the novelty of making music. It lacks the musical distractions found on previous releases, which may be due to the loss of quite a few members over the years. Down to six members, three original, Los Campesinos! is forced to streamline their sound and rely more on the melodies and lyrics than on a frenzied concoction of instruments and chanting. This however has not stopped them from experimenting with different sounds, textures, and tuning. And all of this is for the better. They have found a balance that works well for them and will undoubtedly gain them a wider fan base that is frankly well deserved after this solid release. 









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