Grouplove
Spreading Rumours


3.0
good

Review

by Dakota West Foss USER (15 Reviews)
September 23rd, 2013 | 13 replies


Release Date: 09/17/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Apple releases the "iNeverTrustaHappySong 5S"

When Grouplove’s excellent Never Trust a Happy Song came out in September in 2011 despite being a quintessentially summer album, one might have been able to chalk it up to bad luck; maybe there was a studio hiccup or whatever. With Spreading Rumors coming out almost exactly two years later, there is no longer an excuse: whoever is in charge of Grouplove’s marketing is actually terrible at their job. Granted, that still hasn't stopped the band from becoming the undisputed kings of iPod-commercial-core (which is totally an actual thing), the fact remains that it’s another missed opportunity to have a soundtrack to sunroof night drives and blurry barbecues –and that cannot be stated enough. But, hey, maybe it was an intentional move as botched release dates are not the only similarity that the two albums share: Like Apple’s product that they've helped advertise so well, Grouplove’s next go-around is largely a step to the side rather than a step forward.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. The album opens up strong enough with racing pianos and a child-like fascination in jubilant fashion on “I’m With You” and doesn’t let up on the gas until about the album’s midway point. “Borderlines and Aliens” is probably one of the most experimental songs throughout the album’s thirteen tracks and it’s also one of the best, combing a pseudo-technical sounding bass line with hook after infectious hook. “Schoolboy” is the obligatory song about young love, but it ends on a genuinely funny and self-aware note as Christian Zucconi quickly stutters “I was just a schoolboy/ I got no, eh” before the song comes to an abrupt halt. That sense of humor can be found elsewhere on the album with “oh shit!” and “ha, yeah!” being used as subtle adlibs in the background like some sort of radio-friendly hype man.

Unfortunately, there are instances where the sense of humor completely backfires. “Hippy Hill” is the album’s clear low point and conveniently tucked at the album’s midway point. I’m sure whoever wrote the line “I’d rather be a hippy than a hipster! What?” thought they were being clever, but the end result comes off awkward, confusing, and pretty cringe-inducing. Musically, it's a rather lifeless acoustic comedown to the explosive, fun, and vibrant tunes that precede it. The album’s back-half picks itself up marginally, but never quite matches the legitimate greatness of the first –though “Didn’t Have to Go” and “Raspberry” kind of come close. On the whole, the latter songs are surprisingly reserved and *gasp* ballad heavy which are, frankly, two terms that the band should be minimally associated with. At thirteen tracks and just over fifty minutes, limp cuts like album closer “Save the Party for Me” or the headache-inducing “Bitin’ the Bullet” could’ve easily been trimmed to make a more concise and breezy experience.

Then again, the fact that the songs don’t really work well as an album is probably beside the point. Grouplove and their flowery ilk typically work best tucked away on shuffled playlists of whatever’s riding the summer airwaves and that’s no exception. While it’s too sugary sweet and homogeneous to be enjoyed in one sitting and doesn't quite reach the heights of its predecessor, Spreading Rumors is a solid collection catchy songs that –at the very least- will provide a decent soundtrack to our iPod commercials for the next year or so.



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user ratings (53)
Chart.
3
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Odal
September 23rd 2013


350 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Whipped this one out pretty quick. Comments/suggestions welcome as always!

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
September 23rd 2013


7358 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review. I made your opening point when I reviewed Never Trust a Happy Song back in 2011. It's bizarre that such a quintessentially summery band keep releasing records just as their peak time has passed.

I've only listened to this once but I quite liked it. Not sure how I'd compare it to their first though.

Odal
September 23rd 2013


350 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks, man. I actually really like your review of Never Trust a Happy Song and it's what helped me get this review started. Really though, it's ridiculous how they keep doing it.

I feel like their first album is much more versatile and this is much more suited to just the singles. Still good though.

RivalSkoomaDealer
September 23rd 2013


847 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review man. I think i'm in the minority in that I kind of liked this about as much as I liked the last one. This band has always been pretty hit or miss for me but my girlfriend adores them.

Digging: Submotion Orchestra - Alium

Green Baron
September 23rd 2013


20000 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

goddamnit this album sucks. disappointed because tongue tied wasn't bad. ways to go is so weak
lyrically and vocally

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

Odal
September 23rd 2013


350 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

@greenlinkinmuse

I don't think it's that big of a drop off from their last one. Their lyrics were never that great to
begin with and the vocals are mostly just bouncing around, ready to be shouted out at booze-filled
house parties.

Edit: and stop me now if the summary is terrible. Because it might be.

eddie95
September 23rd 2013


358 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I totally agree...

Digging: Rancid - Honor Is All We Know

Green Baron
September 23rd 2013


20000 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

never trust a happy song, because they can never follow up

Odal
September 23rd 2013


350 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

oh snap

ZilbelPing
September 25th 2013


6160 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Thanks to some pseudo hipster kid in my dorm hall, I fucking hate this band.

Gyromania
October 4th 2013


15941 Comments


album is a pretty good time

Digging: Lantlos - .neon

xfearbefore
February 26th 2014


1245 Comments


Can't comment on the rest of this album but "Shark Attack" is pretty darn catchy and I usually dislike this band.

Green Baron
February 26th 2014


20000 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I hate Shark Attack so much, that and Ways to Go



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