Bad Suns
Language and Perspective


3.0
good

Review

by Green Baron USER (113 Reviews)
July 3rd, 2014 | 18 replies


Release Date: 07/03/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Despite some infectious hooks and impressive vocal performances, there's a lot to be desired from a band that had the potential to make much better music than their above-average debut LP.

With the release of their debut EP Transpose earlier in the year, Bad Suns proved themselves to be a notch above most other generic indie pop bands. After all, they were able to write catchy choruses, play their instruments well, plus they didn’t have an annoying lead singer, so things were looking pretty bright for them. Hot off the success of lead single “Cardiac Arrest”, which managed to peak at #15 on Billboard’s Alternative chart, Bad Suns proved they were able to gain commercial success without sacrificing their artistic talent, as album cuts “Transpose” and “Salt” showed. Amongst the Grouploves and The 1975s in the genre, they stood out, making a lasting first impression that most bands normally don’t.

It’s a damn shame that they couldn’t keep it up.

Make no mistake – Language & Perspective is by no means a bad album at all. All of the good things about the Transpose EP are still present, right down to the inclusion of the band’s two best songs. Yet for all the anthemic hooks and flashy choruses Bad Suns have to offer, there’s only roughly an EPs worth of quality material on here, and everything else just weighs the record down. At four tracks, Transpose seemed rather short, but then again, it was supposed to be – after all, it was nothing more than an introduction to their music. However, at eleven tracks, Language & Perspective drags on for far too long, which shouldn’t be, considering it clocks in at roughly thirty-seven minutes. That’s the main issue that Bad Suns’ debut album suffers from – too many songs fail to grab the attention of listeners, rendering them boring and forgettable. Among other things, this is mainly caused by a lack of variation (causing some tracks to blend together and sound the same) and the absence of memorable hooks. There’s a reason “Cardiac Arrest” was chosen as the record’s lead single – its soaring chorus and melodic “ooh ooh ooh”s were guaranteed to make a lasting mark on people who would flip through radio stations and hear this song being played, and it’s commercial success clearly proves its effectiveness. Nevertheless, for every “Cardiac Arrest”, there’s a “Take My Love and Run”, a track that goes absolutely nowhere.

Part of what makes Language & Perspective seem so forgettable is the fact that it is extremely bottom-heavy. Aside from “Cardiac Arrest” and second single contender “We Move Like the Ocean”, there’s ultimately nothing memorable about the repetitive “Matthew James”, while lead singer Christo Bowman’s soaring vocals are wasted with mind-numbingly dull instrumentation on “Pretend”. Giving credit where it’s due, “Dancing on Quicksand” steals the show as the album’s best new track. Opening with some warbling synths and quiet yet noticeable guitar, the song highlights Bowman’s falsetto as he cries, “I ran out of luck when I fucked up, and nothing’s gonna make this right again / When it’s too much, you’re fucked, time was supposed to make this right again”. There’s even a short guitar solo, which frankly comes as a bit of a surprise given how scarce they are throughout the album. An upbeat, summery atmosphere is created through the repeating drumfills and ongoing “ooh ooh ooh”s, making it a breezy track despite its downbeat lyrical matter.

Despite some overarching flaws, Language & Perspective still manages to take advantage of Bad Suns’ strengths that they utilized well on the Transpose EP. They’ve always been able to create a moody atmosphere, echoing the emotions of the tracks’ meaning. “Sleep Paralysis” exudes a rather airy feel built upon Bowman’s jawdropping falsetto, and constantly builds, adding in drums and increasing in volume until it reaches its gorgeous climax when all the instruments come together. Meanwhile, tracks like “Learn to Trust” show off the band’s rhythm section, with a groovy bassline and an incredibly infectious hook. It seems as if “Dancing for Quicksand” is Language & Perspective’s turning point – most of the weakest tracks occur before it, and the album’s highlights mostly happen following it, further proving its status as “bottom-heavy”.

All in all, Bad Suns don’t entirely disappoint on their first full-length, but they do leave a lot to be desired following a rather great extended play. Stretching their limit to eleven tracks, there’s about an EPs length of quality material on this record (that’s loads more than fellow indie pop acts The Neighbourhood and Grouplove will ever release in their careers, but I digress). Thankfully, those six tracks are Bad Suns at their best, combining slick production with memorable hooks, well-incorporated instrumentation and ethereal atmosphere. Although they may not be able to get the formula write all the time, Language & Perspective is an indicator of just how much talent Bad Suns have, even if they do slightly disappoint at first.



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user ratings (19)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Green Baron
July 2nd 2014


20000 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Does this read more like a 3 or a 3.5?

BMDrummer
July 3rd 2014


7747 Comments


Sort of reads like a 3.5, but it's like a bridge between 3-3.5 tbh

Digging: Shellac - Dude Incredible

Green Baron
July 3rd 2014


20000 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

When I first heard it I thought it'd be more like a 2.8 but then I realized I liked it better so yeah

BMDrummer
July 3rd 2014


7747 Comments


Maybe I should check then

Cimnele
July 3rd 2014


359 Comments


i know they're only song names but the track list adds up to something totally uninspiring

TooManyFriends
July 3rd 2014


700 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

band/album rules

take my love and run rules dude wtf

ScuroFantasma
July 4th 2014


1931 Comments


Great review and congrats on the feature Green.

Digging: Eluveitie - Origins

ExplosiveOranges
July 4th 2014


2829 Comments


[2]

Digging: Electric Wizard - Time to Die

GiantSpeck
July 4th 2014


206 Comments


"Cardiac Arrest" is such an awesome song.

Green Baron
July 4th 2014


20000 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I love it too much.

Thanks for all the kind words everybody.

MyCarandMyGuitar
July 5th 2014


756 Comments


i saw these guys open for Bear Hands last night, they were alright but the lead singer looks too much like Hayden Christensen from Star Wars Episode II (sans rattail) for comfort

TooManyFriends
July 5th 2014


700 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oh my god you're right

Spec
July 6th 2014


27179 Comments


"Above average d"

What you see on the front page.

omg

thelastsignal
July 6th 2014


1370 Comments


Lol Spec, went back just to check. That's too hilarious.

ScuroFantasma
July 6th 2014


1931 Comments


"Above average d"

hehe, nice one picking that up

sithlord416
July 8th 2014


76 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm really digging this album so far. It reminds me of a less annoying the 1975 with more of an 80s influence.

Digging: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Days of Abandon

Green Baron
July 14th 2014


20000 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Vocals are definitely better than The 1975's. And I liked that album.

SebastianJunior
September 10th 2014


25 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I wavered between a 3.0 and a 3.5 but the album definitely finished strong aka “bottom-heavy”. The arrangement of Sleep Paralysis was particularly impressive so I went with the higher grade!



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