The Naked and Famous
In Rolling Waves


3.5
great

Review

by doug USER (78 Reviews)
September 17th, 2013 | 38 replies | 6,376 views


Release Date: 09/17/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: In Rolling Changes

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

New Zealand five piece The Naked and Famous have come a long way in 4 years. After the critically successful release of 2010 debut, Passive Me, Aggressive You, the band toured the world for over 2 years gaining a large following world wide and selling over half a million records. The success was mainly due to Passive Me…’s infectious and hook filled pop that was similar to the MGMT’s and Passion Pit’s musical tendencies of the time, but the band have insisted that they wish to head in a direction where they can play all elements of their music live, without the need of pre-recorded samples and In Rolling Waves is the outcome of this experiment. Delving into more melancholy sound-scapes, haunting yet calming song structures, guitar based structure and vast electronic horizons -- changing the bands musical direction completely. In Rolling Waves is the complete contrast of Passive Me…, instead of summer day dreaming, In Rolling Waves gives you the sense of placing another log on the fire and enjoying the sound of rain land on the tin roof.

First single, ‘Hearts Like Ours’, is not too dissimilar to the sound that was found on Passive Me… with melodic highs, and hook based choruses, though the hints at the underlying direction that the band has taken are obvious, appearing more simple with a less frenetic frequency and pace. Xayalith’s vocals are the main contributor here, with her hazy yet resonant tones being a key feature as just before though the more darkened instrumentation here provides a stark contrast to her distinctly vibrant voice in this more methodical approach to song writing, with guitar and pulsating drums being the feature, rather than synth based melodies. ‘Rolling Waves’ is the highlight track, with the band endeavouring at echoed dissonant post-rock, with clever ebbs and flows that give of the movement of ocean sounds and unhurried melodies that weave in and out of the musical interplay. While In Rolling Waves aims to be staunchly cohesive in sound, there is an eclectic collection of genres flowing through the album. ‘I Kill Giants’ garners a rash attempt at the retro 80’s sound, while album opener ‘A Stillness’ is an interesting mix of vivacious synths, displaced vocals and strange production, in an attempt to be creatively different. While not all the bands experimentation is successful, gentle folk/electro crossover ‘What We Want’ is warming, with solemn piano drifting in the distance and plaintive harmonies, you will find yourself in the middle of a blissful scene of melodies congealed by Powers and Xayalith, dreaming of those summer nights that never seemed to end.

The Naked and Famous’ second album is completely about the dire need to progress, to keep current with the changing nature of today’s music scene. In Rolling Waves does this well to a certain degree, with calming instrumentation, and haunting lyrical themes, though in sections it tries much too hard to be more than it should be – challenging the background of where it came from, and ultimately failing. Though amidst the rubble there is definitely more buoyancy to be found than trash, giving a fresh perspective and a sound that is unique and ultimately progressing towards something much bigger.



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user ratings (52)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Douglas
September 17th 2013



9098 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thought I'd give this a short write up in my lunch break. I think I enjoy this more than I let on, though I was disappointed that they didn't stay with the 'Hearts Like Ours' sound, but wanked on with long down tempo attempts.

Digging: James Vincent McMorrow - Post Tropical

HectorPector
September 17th 2013



39 Comments


I really enjoy Young Blood and Punching in a Dream so I will have a look at this

Douglas
September 17th 2013



9098 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is a fair chunk different, though Hearts Like Ours and Rolling Waves are definitely worth the
listen to see if you enjoy the vibe.

buttery
September 17th 2013



4 Comments


Not expecting much from this. I am assuming a continuation of the Passive Me sound. Wish they relived a bit of the energy from the This Machine/ No Light ep's. Will give a spin at some point nonetheless.

Douglas
September 17th 2013



9098 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's a grower, but wise not to go in expecting too much, as you said, doesn't have that summery passive me sound.

buttery
September 17th 2013



4 Comments


'We are leaving' is a wicked track. Enjoying this more than I thought I would.

Douglas
September 17th 2013



9098 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thats good news! yeaah that's a good jam

I really dig the title track at the minute.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
September 17th 2013



3442 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh my god I'm so enjoying this album. Good review

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
September 17th 2013



13039 Comments


these ppl are on the radio too much

Digging: Electric Wurms - Musik Die Schwer Zu Twerk

Green Baron
September 17th 2013



19842 Comments


hearts like ours is great

Digging: Royal Blood - Royal Blood

bloc
September 17th 2013



34780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Pretty good stuff here. Half the songs are great while I discarded the other half.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

AgainAnd
September 17th 2013



177 Comments


The writing of the review has a few obvious mistakes and, in my opinion, poor flow with many of the sentences. The overall structure & argumentation are good.

"Though the band have insisted that they wish to head in a direction where they can play all elements of their music live, without the need of pre-recorded samples."
This sentence doesn't work at all. "Though" what? You need to have the contrast to the "though" in the same sentence, else it ends up as a fragment.

"delving into a more melancholy sound-scapes"

You ought to get rid of the "a" article, as your "sound-scapes" is plural.

"Xayalith’s vocals are the main contributor here, with her hazy yet, resonant tones..."
This sentence exemplifies the poor flow of some of the sentences. The comma in "yet, resonant" seems misplaced. The first comma of the sentence seems superfluous as well, though it's not really wrong.


Digging: Sonzeira - Brasil Bam Bam Bam

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
September 17th 2013



21791 Comments


Doubt there's a song better than Punching In A Dream

Digging: Gesaffelstein - Aleph

Green Baron
September 17th 2013



19842 Comments


hearts like ours is

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
September 17th 2013



21791 Comments


lemme check

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
September 17th 2013



21791 Comments


nope

Douglas
September 17th 2013



9098 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hey AgainAnd,
Got those, lazy editing on my behalf.

fish. you are correct

TheCollectiveFacade
September 17th 2013



654 Comments


how does this compare to their last one?

Douglas
September 18th 2013



9098 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Read

buckle
September 18th 2013



1 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm hoping this will be a grower, but it doesn't grab me like their debut.



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