Review Summary: Noah And The Whale are looking back on their lives and they are happy. They are also profound. This is Noah And The Whale's happy and profound album.
I no longer understand how anybody could ever feel sad. When you feel sad, why don't you just decide to feel happy, instead? If Noah And The Whale can do it, so can you. Take all the easily identified sad parts of yourself and speed them up slightly. Buy a piano, hire a gospel choir, and get hold of a synth that only plays short bursts of low noise. Now you're happy! While you're in the groove for changing, decide to be profound as well. You know. Profound. Like things about dreams and lines and things changing. Brainstorm!
Because in just the same way that melancholy break-up trauma is an accessory you can attach to your songs vicariously through quivering violins, pseudo-introspective optimism is an add-on born from major piano chords and optimistic singalongs to choruses that don't mean anything
. Nothing important, anyway. Lead single 'L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N' is every bit as obnoxious as its moniker overtly suggests. Does this make Noah And The Whale lovable geeks? No. No, because it's deliberate. Absolutely everything is deliberate.
But this is not the deliberation of any sort of craft; this is deliberation of direction, music which sounds happy not because it is born from happiness but because it is meant to be happy, intended to be joyous, for people who like the idea of genuine emotional connection but don't want the hassle of actually coping with any. And the characters that Charlie Fink constructs look like characters in much the same way, like the bodies of Tom Petty characters without any of his insight. It's in the way that even the 'first-person' tales are laughably transparent and removed; The First Days Of Spring
was all about 'I' - Last Night On Earth
is in essence the 'He' volume of that particular device, and just as distant from any real outpouring.
Some of it's pleasant! Only mildly so, but pleasant nonetheless. So tap your feet to 'Tonight's The Kind Of Night' - an empty tale of potential played out above a pleasant enough beat. Wonder at the pretty and oh-so-deep interlude that is 'Paradise Stars' with its juxtaposition of rippling electronics and clean piano. Join in with the weightless refrain of closer 'Old Joy' and it's kind-of-philosophical outlook on, umm, life. Yeah, that's what Noah And The Whale's new album is about
: life. It's about all the happy-go-lucky moments you remember from teen drama series without any of that pesky exposition. And some other happy stuff like 'pendulum hips' and destiny. So sing along and be happy! It's that easy, after all.