Review Summary: Camera Obscura delivers a good indie pop album that has some problems, yet overall succeeds.
Camera Obscura are an indie pop band who hail from Glasgow, Scotland, and with every album they release have been gaining more and more critical acclaim. Their 2006 release Let’s Get Out of This Country is often considered, by critics and fans, to be their best album, and it's not hard to see why. Having listened to Camera Obscura for sometime now this is by far their most accessible and consistent release. Every song flows well into the other and for once Tracyanne Campbell’s voice works well on every song on the album.
The songs on Let’s Get Out of This Country mostly deal with heartbreak and failed relationships, but this is Camera Obscura’s strength as they know what they want to accomplish with their lyrics and succeed well at it. Camera Obscura have a very mellow and dreamy sound to their music, which can get tiresome if it’s not something one enjoys. If you’re looking for Camera Obscura to experiment a little bit and change their sound, for the most part, you will be disappointed as they still sound the same, but this is not the bad thing as. The only thing that changed with this album is that Campbell is now the sole vocalist for the band. However, this is a good thing because the male vocalist who sang on previous works dragged the albums down as it did not go with the sound of the albums at all.
The album starts out with one of the bands most famous songs Lloyd, I’m Read to Be Heartbroken, and right away the song sets up the entire album. The song is soft and heartfelt as Campbell sings, in her schoolgirl voice, that she is in love and ready to be heartbroken. Next up is the emotional Tears for Affairs.This is my personal favorite song off this album and I believe it to be the band’s best work. The song doesn’t deviate much from Camera Obscura’s sound yet the instrumentation is beautiful and so is Campbell’s voice, as she sings with a lot of emotion. While I said this album is consistent the quality of the songs after Tears for Affairs drop a little bit and the album becomes repetitive and suffers from it, but like I said what helps counter this is that the songs go together well and the album doesn’t feel like a complete mess.
Songs such as Come Back Margaret and The False Contender, while not bad songs, become boring after a few listens, and by the time the album gets to the final track Razzle Dazzle Rose the listener might be bored. This is the albums main problem. It doesn’t last. Since the songs are all very similar the listener feels like they have been there before, and that is certainly a problem. However, what Camera Obscura have on their side is Campbell who makes every song listenable. Her voice alone is what have made me come back to several tracks on this album, which include Lloyd I’m Ready to Be Heartbroken, Tears for Affairs, and I Need All the Friends I Can Get.
The truth is this album is good, but suffers from being a little too repetitive and some songs go on longer than they should. If you like indie pop I am sure you will enjoy some songs off this. If you want songs that deal with being in love this album will surely appeal to you. Like I said Campbell’s voice alone makes this album worth listening to because I think she is a great singer who sings with emotion and her heart on her sleeve. If you like Camera Obscura, and for some reason have not heard this go listen to as even though there are some downsides to this album it is worth at least one listen.
Lloyd I’m Ready to Be Heartbroken
Tears for Affairs
Let’s Get Out of This Country
If Looks Could Kill
I Need All the Friends I Can Get