Normandie
Dopamine


4.0
excellent

Review

by klocu4 USER (3 Reviews)
February 12th, 2024 | 10 replies


Release Date: 02/09/2024 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Normandie stole my heart and they won’t give it back

I’ll be honest - my journey with Normandie wasn’t a very long one. Nonetheless, their fusion of synth-infused modern rock, catchy pop hooks, and post-hardcore elements has always resonated with me. The fourth LP from this Stockholm trio feels like an imperfect yet compelling iteration of their distinctive style.

In many ways, “Dopamine” is an evolution of the band’s 2021 effort, “Dark & Beautiful Secrets”. The album sees the return of pop-rock choruses infused with impeccable modern production and Philip Strand's emotive vocals. Normandie has also reincorporated heavier elements reminiscent of their earlier work (I highly recommend checking out their 2015 single "Black Blood"), notably evident in tracks like the high-octane rock anthem "Colorblind" and the synthwave-inspired "Hourglass," featuring a metalcore-esque breakdown with a guest performance from Dani of Bury Tomorrow. This song stands out as one of my favorites on the album, boasting dark, moody synths and melancholic melodies that build up to the aforementioned breakdown, serving as one of the album's highlights. Another standout track is "Serotonin," an emotionally charged alternative rock anthem with one of the most captivating choruses I've heard recently.

That being said, the band’s pop sensibilities do take center stage on this album more often than not, particularly noticeable in the track "Flowers On The Grave." While it's a catchy song, it leans heavily into a more generic pop-rock approach, with "ooh, ooh" refrains that may appeal to mainstream radio audiences but could potentially alienate older fans. However, I’d argue that ‘generic’ doesn’t always equal bad, and “Flowers On The Grave” is a prime example of this. On the flip side, "Butterflies" offers a moody and groovy alt-pop experience, which showcases the band’s ability at creating a gloomy atmosphere through dark synths and ambient pads, which transport the listener into another realm.

Overall, “Dopamine” serves as a fantastic showcase of Normandie’s multifaceted talents. All of the tracks flow into each other almost seamlessly, making the listening experience a quite pleasant and beautiful journey. While it might not be for the purists, I can see myself returning to this album many times. Normandie’s blend of anthemic alt-rock, alt-pop and occasional heavier moments truly demonstrates their versatility, which makes me really hopeful for the quality of their future releases.


user ratings (13)
2.8
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
mkmusic1995
Contributing Reviewer
February 12th 2024


1560 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Really enjoy some of this band's stuff. This sounds like a nice extension of what they've working towards so I'm keen to check it out. Nice write up!

klocu4
February 13th 2024


3 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks! I've decided to get back to writing on this site after like 6 years I think haha



the album is definitely good, although I can see why some fans don't enjoy it as much as i did

Nikkolae
February 14th 2024


6542 Comments


well this sounds kinda up my alley so i might give it a go

mkmusic1995
Contributing Reviewer
February 14th 2024


1560 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I feel like it's not a bad album, especially considering that it sounds very similar stylically to Dark & Beautiful Secrets which I quite enjoyed but the songs here just don't really grasp me all that much. Serotonin is probably the one track that I would go back to.

SteakByrnes
February 14th 2024


29468 Comments


These guys were fun on their early EP and the first two albums but I haven't been able to get into anything past that. Phil is a great singer still, no doubt about that

AmericnZero02
February 14th 2024


3840 Comments


Shoot I kinda forgot about these guys after White Flag. I'll have to check this out!

SomeCallMeTim
February 14th 2024


3759 Comments


album art is very AI-esque but I love it and will listen because of it

and cuz review too nice review

Brabiz
February 14th 2024


2142 Comments


Album art looks nice, i can get down with this kinda music if im in the mood. Maybe will check

iChuckles
February 15th 2024


648 Comments


Cooling seeing my fellow countrymen receive some love on here. "Glue" is incredibly catchy.

AmericnZero02
February 17th 2024


3840 Comments


Whoa, you weren't kidding about Glue. That song is stellar.



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