These New Puritans
Hidden


2.5
average

Review

by AggravatedYeti USER (46 Reviews)
March 7th, 2010 | 27 replies | 9,822 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Quartet's follow-up to a lauded debut is all at once imaginative, compelling, infuriating, and dumbfounding. Producing track after track of high quality production plagued by languid vocal performances, which in the end, run the album aground.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

There is just something not working correctly with British quartet, These New Puritan’s second LP, Hidden. Which is amazingly disappointing on account of, under all the lyrical wankery and vocal tom-foolery there is a seriously solid album to be found. It just seems like lead singer, (lyricst, producer and multi-instrumentalist) Jack Barnett is trying to do all he can to muddle things up, hide it from view, it is a bit of a pain in the ass. Hidden ironically looses touch predominantly in the fact that everything is so obstructed from sight, lush, moving pieces of backing music are left in the befuddled hands of a band seemingly hell-bent on doing the wrong things at the worst times. Marred by phoned in vocals and both cringe worthy and laughable lyrics the album’s supreme instrumentation and tracking can’t do much to save it from it’s own monotony.

Saddest part is Hidden starts out so damn well too, opener “Time Xone” is a droney, horn-filled foray into classical brit-pop, that flows effortlessly into follow-up “We Want War” a seven minute, bombastic slow burner, which is if only by the fact that the song just seems to keep building, and hammers every miss direction of Beat Pyramid into correct form, then places in a 1-way railcar directly to Hades. It's grandiose dub-beats and off-kilter horns breath life into the hazy, washed out fuzz and hushed vocals echoing beneath them. Even, the electro-clash meets world-beat banger “Three Thousand” showcases a band at the top of their game, balancing their need to be quirky with song writing sensibility, delivering solid music with the message, it’s just after “Three Thousand” that Hidden starts to get a bit insipid.

Probably the biggest issue with the album as a whole is it’s lack of any real direction, not to mention, purpose. Almost every song possess no lyrical heft what so ever, and granted weight of the prose doesn’t always equal out to its weight in album quality. But, there are also times when foreboding generalities, and vague clichés delivered in a half-assed, phone in of a performance just don‘t add up to anything worthwhile. Which is maddening, considering the music backing Barnett’s weird Damon Albarn voice meets Mike Skinner delivery, generally is vibrant, luscious, dark music, full of bombastic beats, low drones and gorgeous key fills -- not to mention the synths! These New Puritans by all means have balls, the music is absurdly abstract, while also being insanely infectious. If M.I.A. and Diplo got together with AC and Danger Mouse it might sound like what these kids are putting out here, it is some seriously jaw-dropping ***. Too bad Jack’s there to *** it all up for them. His droll deliveries of lyrics stretching little further than single words or small phrases most of the time, which he insists on repeating incessantly to the point it becomes mind numbing. The chants of “I’m in the fire-fire-fire!” on “Fire-Power” or harsh whispers of "This is the land where corals lie" on “Drum Courts-Where Corals Lie” turn quickly from interesting, or even danceable, to aggravating when they’ve been repeated for the fiftieth time in the same, boring, mono-tone voice. At least Iggy Pop, Ian Curtis and Johnny Cash gave us character with their limited baritones, Barnett seems to be boxing himself in on purpose, at one point expressing: ”I am not an actor/I do not know what to say.” True, but you are a musician, and a front man at that, is it so much to ask for a little heart? Half the album he sounds bored with himself, or snarky, delivering snooze worthy verses with an acid tipped tongue. You can’t blame them for trying though, and they certainly do, if anything These New Pertains are breaking down a lot of musical borders here with Hidden, blazing new trails if you will. Problem is, they just don’t seem to give a ***, at all.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
AggravatedYeti
March 7th 2010



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thank god this is done, now I don't need to listen anymore.

klap
Staff Reviewer
March 7th 2010



10305 Comments


sweet summary

Digging: Literature - Chorus

thebhoy
Emeritus
March 7th 2010



4459 Comments


I don't know, everything I've heard from this tells me your wrong.

Shrapnel94
March 7th 2010



2213 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

lolwut @ summary.

This album is awesome.

EVedder27
March 7th 2010



6088 Comments


YES. Album sucks, great review Yeti.

AggravatedYeti
March 7th 2010



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I don't know, everything I've heard from this tells me your wrong.


by all means I should love this album
but instead it bugs the crap outta me.

thebhoy
Emeritus
March 7th 2010



4459 Comments


I'm going to listen to this anyways, and if you're wrong I'm going to write (a better) review than yours, so there! I'm just kidding... kind of... I'm kidding about a better review part. This is a fine review. and lol at last rec.

Shrapnel94
March 7th 2010



2213 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

You guys have to admit though that We Want War is orgasmic.

AggravatedYeti
March 7th 2010



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

^ srsly

last track is pretty awesome too.

I feel as though this could grow if I kept listening to it -- then I think why would I do that?

thanks Keelan :D
and please love this and write a review

Phil
March 7th 2010



1473 Comments


I think it's pretty cool. 'Time Xone' reminds me of Chet Baker's 'The Thrill is gone' (sans vocals). The percussion is seriously the best of the instruments on this, even the little solo that kicks off 'Drum Courts-Where corals lie' is cool. I think you add too much of an emphasis on the lyrics.

tombits
March 7th 2010



3470 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This recieved a weird amount of critical acclaim when it came out, especially for a fairly unknown band. I didn't really enjoy it that much, but I haven't really given it more than two or three run throughs.

Kronzo
March 7th 2010



991 Comments


I feel like the summary is a bunch of puns and I should get it but it really confuses me lol.

thebhoy
Emeritus
March 7th 2010



4459 Comments


I get all the references, but it still doesn't make any sense. It was like, hey lets make a sentence out of these album names!

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
March 8th 2010



15728 Comments


i got 1 reference

Digging: Alvvays - Alvvays

AggravatedYeti
March 8th 2010



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

^ I actually heard many similarities between them all and this and I wanted to say something other than (sometimes)good electro-pop fronted by a dry droll vocalist


Phil I put so much emphasis on the lyrics and vocals because it's that which brings down such a good instrumental album, it's kind of a big deal in the grand scheme of the 2.5.

Phil
March 8th 2010



1473 Comments


I realise you think it plays a huge role in it. But I feel that it blends in nicley with the instruments, a bit like Thom Yorke.

I get what albums you're referencing in the summary but I don't think they really represent the album. Electro-pop, really?

AggravatedYeti
March 8th 2010



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I was being sarcastic, but yes at it's base this is in fact electronic pop music.

New summary, fukit.

I feel like the vocals just degrade the music kind of, such power in the instrumentals behind such a lackadaisical vocalist. It's a bet that personally I find just didn't work for them.

Phil
March 8th 2010



1473 Comments


Fair enough, I don't really see it but oh well. Good review otherwise.

AggravatedYeti
March 8th 2010



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

thanks man, and please keep loving this haha. Makes it worth it for me to write a negative review in the first place, intelligent musical discussion that's opposite of what I think.
I'll prolly see them live and delete this by August after I bump it up to a 4.5.

klap
Staff Reviewer
March 8th 2010



10305 Comments


what the fuck, the old summary rocked. don't pander to people who don't listen to Pulp



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