Some general impressions
This is the second (major) album of the band, and marked their breakthrough, as they got widely recognised and more popular. Especially with their first single 'Whatever happened to the 80's?'. Overall, this is in a way a 'fun' record. The topics of the lyrics are mostly 'Good to have you as a friend', 'Don't you know this is bad for you?' or 'Can you remember, back in the days when we...'. Sounds like clichee(sp?). Nothing realy special there, but wrapped up in a good sounding package. What other bands tell you in angry sounding chords, sounds like good times and good mood with the Donots.
Some of the highlights are surely the singles: 'Whatever happened to the 80's?', 'Superhero' and 'Today'. All great songs. But as they follow up close in the track list, you feel kinda "Yeah, it's XY the single, great!" and lack such moments later on. Or your just a bit bored, because of the massive airplay for example 'Whatever happened to the 80's?' had. (If you don't live in Germany, your lucky and can probably enjoy this album without such problems). Sometimes I get the feeling, everything is blasted out with the first 5 tracks, and the rest acts like a filler. A feeling I often get when single follows single in the tracklist. But, as singles these songs are well chosen as they provide a good look on the general style of the record. Pure feel good party music.
But it's not the only aspect of this record. A kind of new twist comes with "Room with a view". The track is more quietly, and acts as a kind of love song with it's lyrics. The punk-rock way. Somehow similar is the track "Radio days", a bit more mellow.
As I own the Limited Edition Version of this record, I have a bonus track to discuss. This track really suprises when you hear it the first time. 'Backstabbing' seems far more 'darker' and more aggresive as all songs on this record put together. In a way, it reminds me of some hardcore tunes, with it's heavy pounding bass during verses, and sawing guitar during the chorus. Like I thought when I heard it a couple of times, it showed the way where the Donots would progress to (which was shown with the follow up record "Amplify the good times").
What I really like about the album:
This is a real "get up" record for me. As soon as I hear it, I'm in a pretty good mood.It's one of my summer CDs, music to listen to while lying in the grass and enjoying the sun. This is a record that is worth a listen even after some years (and this record is almost 4 years old now). If your up to some great fun music, this is the record for you.
What was not so good:
What I mentioned above, it's a bit sad that all the singles are close behind each other. Get's you a strange feeling if you heard the songs a lot on radio or TV. The problem the Donots had with their first record, 'Better days are not included', got better, but did not disappear completely. Some songs start/sound similar to other songs on the record. And sometimes you're kinda reminded of other bands. But that does not make this record a 'bad one' IMO.
I really like this album. It's real fun to listen to, and a great record to introduce paople to this style of music. I converted more than one houes/dance person to Punk/Rock/Alternative with this record.
The general goal of the record gets clear very soon after you hear it: Have fun, and look on the bright side of life. And that is the feeling this record gives you. It brings a smile to your face. Comparing this album with the first one, 'Better days not included', it shows a lot of progress. Progress that did not stop, but was carried on with the third album and helps to further develop the sound of the Donots.
My suggestions to get an impression of the different musical aspects: Whatever happened to the 80`s? (The straight up Donots party song), Room with a view (a bit more quiet, probably my favorite track of the album), Jaded (screamed verses, melodic chorus), Backstabbing (If you have the possibility, be sure to check this track out. It's a big contrast to the rest, and worth a listen)
3.5 - 4/5 :thumb: