Charlie Simpson
Young Pilgrim


2.0
poor

Review

by Axel USER (6 Reviews)
August 15th, 2011 | 21 replies | 7,582 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Let us meditate on this album before Simpson's predicted attempt at hip hop in the coming years

6 of 13 thought this review was well written

No one really predicted that “Down Down Down”, the first single to be taken from Young Pilgrim, would actually be the success on the UK singles charts that it was this past spring. Okay, seriously: swathed in 'woo hoo-oo-oo' vocal harmonies, containing lines like “My heart swells to the size of an orchard” (or 'orchid' could be the word sung there, not sure), and Charlie Simpson's horrendous lyrical collision of his own relationship woes with the needs of the world – or something like that. Yeah, right. Yet, behold: it sold well, and if my Wiki isn't lying to me, second follow-up single “Parachutes”, a sugar cookie that's solely indebted to the pop stylings of Fightstar's “Never Change”, “Mercury Summer”, or “Tonight We Burn”, is doing even better than the prior single.

Baffling. Because well listening to these songs gives you the impression that they would all tank in the market and in context of this review tank on record, not actually bump sides with three-month-old Lady Gaga singles scaling the upper-hand 40s and 50s landings of the charts – or one-month-old Gaga, in the case of “Parachutes”. Simpson sounds unforgivably melancholic and worn-thin by the woes of, uh, too much success or something, making sure those attentive know it all throughout Young Pilgrim, but going about it in all the wrong ways.

In the instrumentally bare acoustics of “Sundown”, Simpson flaunts his 'weak' heart so carelessly and forthright that it's nauseating: “I'll just throw a stone into the wishing well or walk down to the water's edge and push me into the swell. . . . I don't think I drank enough to make your face go away,” he croons weakly into his drink, head in hands. And in what may be one of the most embarrassing songs we'll likely hear this year, “Farmer & His Gun”, get this: Simpson compares himself and his life's situation to a rabbit running from a 'farmer and his gun', all psuedo-western like instrumentally – harmonica fill-ins and Paisley-esque acoustic minor chords galore. Not to be easily usurped by the latter though, “Thorns” finds the weary songwriter singing about essentially, well, nothing: roses, English weather (haha), and his love-sick, beating, empty heart of course. Get this shit out of there.

Young Pilgrim's intent of being an artistic extension for Simpson actually sounds like a beat-up and bruised Fightstar, settings fully set on Be Human. The aforementioned “Parachutes”, as stated, is an early forewarning of Simpson's dabbing in his own past as frontman of his post-Busted project, but continuing further on reveals that the aping by this pilgrim just gets worse and worse. Third song “All At Once” unceremoniously and obviously jacks the “Mercury Summer” chorus melody – just switch the lyrics of the two songs, trust me. It's an easy fit. And wearing like a badge-of-honor Simpson's best Justin Vernon vocal raping, “Hold On” pairs pretty yet unwanted omnipresent vocal harmonies with a direct shot at the melodies of “A City On Fire”, minus the distortion. “Suburbs” is yet another Be Human of choruses conglomerations, and closer “Riverbanks” reeks in mood and layout of Fightstar's classic “Mono” and not-so-classic “Follow Me Into the Darkness”, both songs that start slow and go all BOOM and emotional-like.

What will prove to be ironic about Young Pilgrim's reception is that most critics will likely not take Simpson seriously here, at least initially: He's done the Busted-pop thing, the quality yet pseudo-post-hardcore of Fightstar thing, and now he wants the credibility of all aspiring artists in the music business, of course; the singer-songwriter thing. But Young Pilgrim is just as poppy as Busted ever was, contains the weak and just plain odd lyrics of both that boy band and Fightstar, and flamboyantly rapes the latest work of the latter under a wearisome, despondent guise. A desperate attempt at an artistic extension, you say? Err, no. Young Pilgrim is just the sound of Charlie Simpson running around in his own artistic circles, going nowhere and repeating his past over and over again.



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user ratings (43)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
TBliss2 (3)
A hit and miss debut full length....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Axel
August 15th 2011



189 Comments


stream:http://www.nme.com/news/charlie-simpson/58597

iFghtffyrdmns
August 15th 2011



7047 Comments


whoa that was a lot of comma's
I remember meaning to check out his solo debut for a long time but then forgetting about it.
If this is as bad as you say though I might as well just avoid that shit altogether.

Knott-
Emeritus
August 15th 2011



10195 Comments


I wasn't overly impressed by this album but half of this review is just stupid.

Knott-
Emeritus
August 15th 2011



10195 Comments


(bear in mind I loved the EP he released)

sixdegrees
August 15th 2011



16907 Comments


Fightstar is pretty much the only thing involving Charlie Simpson that I care about.

Digging: Ted Nugent - Shutup&jam!

thumbcrusher
August 15th 2011



3590 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i definately prefer fightstar and his EP he put out a few months ago to the stuff i've heard from this.

but saying "it's just as poppy as busted ever was" is pretty ridiculous.

Knott-
Emeritus
August 15th 2011



10195 Comments


dammit the tone and some of the content of this review makes me so angry it's so fucking dumb

Sanders
August 15th 2011



2345 Comments


I've never read a review with 2 mentions of the word rape.

Axel
August 15th 2011



189 Comments


Oh dear.

I tried.

RandMcNally
August 16th 2011



158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

albums awesome, this review is dumb.

Island
August 16th 2011



577 Comments


Haha, saw this review featured on the front page of Rate Your Music today

SaveYourBreath
August 21st 2011



174 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You sound way out of your comfort zone with this, and you sound like you have no idea what you're talking about aswell..
like Knott said, most of this is just dumb words.. sorry man.
I'm hoping for a staff review on this to be honest, it'd be interesting to see what one of them think.

Knott-
Emeritus
August 21st 2011



10195 Comments


I think I'll review it, but it honestly won't be too complimentary. I think it's uninteresting for a large part, always pleasant, but infrequently more. Still, it won't compare it to Busted every ten words, so there's still hope.

Sanders
August 21st 2011



2345 Comments


I don't mind this, it's not groundbreaking in any way whatsoever, but there's nothing heinous about it.

Axel
November 5th 2011



189 Comments


You guys are all mean bastards.

This sucks.

Knott-
Emeritus
November 5th 2011



10195 Comments


It does suck, but the review doesn't even pretend to be fair to the guy.

thumbcrusher
November 5th 2011



3590 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i wouldn't expect you to think that this sucks knott. why so?

Knott-
Emeritus
November 5th 2011



10195 Comments


it's just so painfully unimpressive. nothing really stands out, it's not overly catchy, there are a couple of good tunes on it but yeah.

thumbcrusher
November 5th 2011



3590 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fair enough.

but cemetery stands out to me as a damn good song.

Axel
November 5th 2011



189 Comments


It does read like I have an agenda against this guy, doesn't it?

Damn.



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