Review Summary: Joynson's debut is certainly one spirited affair.
Acoustic punk? Emo-folk? Glock ‘n’ roll? No matter which genre you try to class it under, Failure – the debut mini-album from indie singer-songwriter Robin Joynson – is certainly one thing: spirited.
Crafted with nothing more than an acoustic guitar and a glockenspiel (more like rock-enspeil, am I right?), Failure is a concise collection of heartbreak, happiness and hopelessness that is filled to the brim with ‘sing-along’ choruses and lyrical chestnuts that are more than worthy of a listen.
There are a fair few highlights on this album, first of all, lead-single ‘Oh No!’, with its simple yet effective chorus that will have you performing backing vocals in no time at all. Then there is ‘Love Punk’, which is a refreshing companion piece to the more pessimistic tracks on the album, being upbeat in tone and having some of the more crowd pleasing lyrics on the record. Finally, there is closer ‘Adieu’, arguably the most cynical track on the album, but nevertheless one of the most memorable.
Special mentions are in order for ‘2012’ and ‘Silvia’, both of which are great in their own right, ‘2012’ with its more self-deprecating aspect, conveying a songwriter who ostensibly seems unsure of his talents and/or purpose, while ‘Silvia’ is a punk influenced love song with an infectious hook and a great flow.
However, slower tracks such as ‘Doorstop’ and ‘Obvious’ are perhaps not as engaging as the rest of the tracks on the album, ‘Doorstop’, in particular, contains some clunky lyrics that hinder the song, making it flow nowhere near as well as other tracks like ‘Silvia’ or opener ‘Failed Serenade’.
All in all, Failure is a debut that is full of energy and top-notch musicianship, it is by no means perfect, but it is most definitely a success.