Sunday, March 29, 2009

Which Bitch? review

THE View first burst onto the scene in 2007 with Hats Off to the Buskers. This debut album produced hits such as Same Jeans, Wasted Little DJs and Superstar Tradesman for the quartet from Dundee, Scotland – frontman Kyle Falconer, guitarist Pete Reilly, bassist Kieren Webster and drummer Steven Morrison.

I’m glad to say that this follow-up is a lot more memorable than the first album. It is a little hard to catch Falconer’s thick Scottish accent at times, but pay attention to his singing and you’ll be treated to lyrics that are almost as entertaining as the songs themselves.

Right from the weary harmonica intro and the subsequent catchy piano beat of the extremely short Typical Time 2, this album consists of strong tunes which can be segmented into three distinct categories – the average, the good, and the masterpieces.

Let’s start with the average ones: Temptation Dice, Realisation, Shock Horror, Glass Smash and One Off Pretender though the last song does catch your ear with its strange The Streets-like rap-talk delivered by Webster!

Of the good songs, the first single 5 Rebeccas is a rip-roaring, somewhat raunchy, jaunt about five different Rebeccas, while Unexpected is unexpectedly The View’s most beautiful ballad yet. Then there’s Distant Doubloon, a carnival-style ditty that would not have seemed out of place in a Disney pirate musical (if not for the rather profane lyrics, of course).

However, good as those songs are, the masterpieces are even better. I dare you to listen to the rocking Double Yellow Lines and not want to sing along to the soaring chorus.

My personal favourite, Give Back the Sun, is a sunny little ditty with a wonderfully catchy chorus. Now, any other tune would pale in comparison to a song as infectious as that, but fortunately the album-closing Gem of a Bird is yet another masterpiece. Catchy, guitar-driven and singalong-worthy, it is tarnished only by the strange two-minute collection of outtakes at the end.

So there you have it, my favourite album of the year so far – one that I can loop endlessly for hours on end and not get tired of. Give it a listen, please.

By Michael Cheang, Malaysian Star, 29 March 2009


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