Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Vaccines - English Graffiti (2015)

A recently released (25 May, 2015) album by the band that rocked the charts in 2011, 'English Graffiti' makes us expect a lot. That is, a lot of drive, positive emotions and a will to dance. Of course, a person who has listened to both previous albums would be also waiting for some improvements or changes that would vary the overall impression of the album. Have The Vaccines accomplished that? Will the album be able to outdo the predecessor? Let's find out!

The opening track - 'Handsome' - is a fast, jesting beginning to the album. The rhytm makes you want to dance, the vocals to sing along and the guitars to play along, even if you don't know the song at all. While listening to this song, one can totally say that the sound is 100% Vaccinish. Sadly, I couldn't help buth think that I've heard the song before. It seems that The Vaccines are getting quite repetitive, you can find similar songs from album to album. Take the track 'If You Wanna'  from 'What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?', for example. If it is a bad thing or not, is up to the listener, though a person who is not acquainted with their music would definitely like it.

Even though the beginning of the album seems quite energetic and fast, its mood changes halfway through the tracklist. A good example of that is 'Maybe I could hold you' - a slow, smooth and romantic song that - I would say - is not really similar to what The Vaccines usually do. This track is a good instance of what I expected from the album - a change in tune, something that The Vaccines haven't done before. Great backing vocals, minimalistic verses and appropriate bursts of instruments during choruses - all add up to the sound and make the song look just great. The lyrics are cathy and intruiging:
''I don't know who I thought you were
But no one ever made me wonder
And it's getting to the point where I'm gonna have to ask you
Maybe I could hold you''

However, not everything is perfect about the album. One of the singles - 'Dream Lover' - makes me question why the band has chosen it to be a single. Even though the song is not particularly bad, it lacks the spark that makes The Vaccines who they are. The chorus seems to be too far-fetched and pop-music-like, possibly in order to attract the pop-loving audience. Again, for somebody it might not be a bad thing, but it also may be the first step to turning into a sellout band, making faceless songs for profits. Let's hope it's not the case and The Vaccines will remain the unique flower among the chaos of modern music industry.

Overall, the impression received from the album is positive. However, if I had to compare the album to the previous ones, I would say that 'English Grafiti' is not as great as, for example, 'What did you expect from the Vaccines?', though it has its own strong sides. I would definitely recommend the album to anybody who is yet not acquainted with the band or is just plainly interested in indie rock or would like to try something new and pleasant.

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