Review Summary: It feels as if the Pigeon Detectives were almost trying so hard to make this album good, that inevitably they ended up failing.
After surprising many with their breathtaking debut album, Leeds’ finest the Pigeon Detectives were a mini sensation. Backed by the hype from popular British magazines, during the six month period after the release of “Wait For Me”, you couldn’t go to a pub in Britain without hearing one of the singles on the jukebox. Now, less than a year after “Wait For Me” was released, The Pigeon Detectives are back for another go. Now although a year is quite a long time in music, it seems a tad quick for a band to write and record a brand new album, especially after headlining four major festivals in the summer that they did so. My analysis of this is that The Pigeon Detectives are a fashionable band, and they are trying to cash in on it, before unavoidably they fall out of favour. This is not to say that I doubt they tried to make this album good, quite the opposite in fact, as it feels as if The Pigeon Detectives were almost trying so hard to make this album good, that inevitably they ended up failing.
The Pigeon Detectives debut was energetic, catchy and enjoyable, and the band seem to be basing their follow up entirely on the old saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”; the problem with this being that while their first album was a riot, contrary to popular belief you can
have too much of a good thing, and that’s what has happened here. The thing about this album is that it is an album of two parts. The first four tracks and possibly final track “Everybody Wants Me” are all very good, picking up where “Wait For Me” left off, but with more mature vocals and (slightly) better lyrics. However to every Dr Jekyll is a Mr Hyde, and he rears his ugly face in the remaining eight tracks, which are lacking the energy and drive that people have come to expect of the Pigeon Detectives, and as a result, are extremely unmemorable.
First single and opening track “This Is An Emergency” is delightful, and in all truth belongs on a much better album. The slow build up to the track, followed by the immensely catchy chorus, good guitar riffs and a surprisingly improved vocal performance by Matt Bowman all seem to suggest that this album going to be as good as “Wait For Me”. The next few tracks continue in this vein, all with good, if not great musicianship and the typical catchy chorus associated with the band, and album highlight “Take Off Your Dress” is as good as anything off of “Wait For Me”. However it all seems to go downhill around about “I’ll Be Waiting” which although not a bad track, is significantly worse than everything thus far, and marks the point at which the songs on this album get progressively worse.
The first truly bad song on this album is the ever so dreary “Nothing To Do With You”, where the band attempt to write a slower acoustic song. However, they seem to have overlooked the fact that when the guitars are toned down and the drums are removed, a lot of attention lies on the lyrics, which are unfortunately very poor. The small mandolin part during the middle of the track attempts to make it stand out, but even this isn’t enough to raise this track out of the clutches of mediocrity. From here on in each and every track is uninspired and samey, except second single and final track “Everybody Wants Me” which does something to lift spirits after the absent middle portion of the album, if you make it that far.
Overall, all things considered, this album is distinctly average. Although some of the tracks are excellent, a Razorlight-esque complacency seems to have come across The Pigeon Detectives, meaning most of the album seems rushed, and is very unfulfilling. With talk of a third album in the works, The Pigeon Detectives show no sign of slowing, which is a shame, because with a little more effort and thought, this album could have been so much better.