Review Summary: The tired sound of a band who apparently wants to put out a message, but is doing it with such a lack of substance that no one will care about what they have to say.
As indie music gets more popular, its quality just seems to decline. It feels as if many bands are just jumping onto the indie bandwagon and making their sound more mainstream in hope of airplay and big sales. Unfortunately, many of these groups are incredibly boring
. From the bland, overblown Imagine Dragons to the weak lyrics and mediocrity of The Neighbourhood, popular indie bands are mostly devoid of any substance or personality. Sure, there are some decent ones, but a lot of them lack the passion that is needed to make good music.
The Mowgli's are a perfect example of a crap indie band, as they possess all of the aforementioned horrible qualities. Look no further than the album's opening track, the lead single and biggest hit, "San Francisco", which not only is annoyingly upbeat and happy (or maybe that's just my inner cynic talking), but also contains cheesy lyrics like "Do you feel the love? I feel the love / Come on, come on, let's start it up! Let it pour out of your soul". It's also pretty repetitive, and lacks in emotion and sincerity.
Unfortunately, "San Francisco" may as well be the best song on this album. Compared to the rest of the album, it's actually pretty catchy and ear-grabbing, which I can't say about any other track. The fact that the whole band sings on many of the songs exposes one of the octet’s flaws. They need
the whole band to sing to make it memorable. Granted, even when the whole band sings it still isn’t that memorable, but if only one member sang, it’d be even worse. Hell, it’s hard to tell any of the guys (and girls) apart when they all sound the same. And on songs like “Time” where only one male sings, he sounds like Lou Reed on Lulu
, muttering the lines without any hint of personality or effort at all. Speaking of the lines, they’re also pretty weak too. “When I win the lottery, I’ll tell B of A that they can kiss my ass” is laughably bad.
The lyrics are also incredibly cheesy at times, relying on the "love conquers all" cliché a lot more than necessary. They may be captivating to hippies and pacifists, but for everyone else, they’re annoyingly sappy and incredibly vapid. Songs like “Love is Easy” or “Clean Light” and their inane lyrics would be more effective if they were actually sang with energy or emotion. The album’s feel-good, flashy choruses and inspirational messages are repetitive, and when every song follows the same structure, that's a cause for concern. The album is also too long for its own good, at around fifty minutes, and in return, drags on towards the end.
The Mowgli's main problem is how bland they sound. I probably wouldn't mind the sappy lyrics if the band sang it like they meant it, but instead, they have no personality and are all rather weak vocalists. None of these songs (except maybe "San Francisco") are memorable, and behind all the "doo doo doo"s and "la la la"s is a band whose greatest strength is putting people to sleep. They're supposed to be supporting peace and happiness, so why don't they actually do something instead of recording albums that no one will bother to listen to?