GLASVEGAS EUPHORIC///HEARTBREAK\\\ (Columbia)
You may recall from my review of Glasvegas first album that I was not overly impressed with it, and could not really see what everyone else was raving about. OK, there were a batch of good songs on there, and quite a bit of filler, and I must admit that it has not returned to the player as often as it should, but I have not let that stop me from trying their new release. A fair bit has happened between these two albums they have lost their drummer and recruited a new one from Scandinavia, and James Allen has returned from a lost weekend, so he should have plenty to write about. Things start oddly with a short instrumental called Pain Pain, Never Again which noodles along for a few minutes and then suddenly stops so that the first song proper can begin. The World Is Yours sounds very much like the band of the first album, powering along on an insistent rhythm and Allen intoning the lyrics in his thick brogue. You motors along at a slightly slower pace, but is still everything you would expect from the band, apart from when they run the vocals through a effects pedal towards the end. So far, so good no major surprises, and a couple of good songs. Shine Like Stars is another of Allens love songs to life itself, and good though it may be these last three tracks have not really had anything about them to make them stand out from each other. Whatever Hurts You Through The Night has it, though, starting with its ringing intro and Allens impassioned vocal, right down to the leisurely pace which the song demands. I still cant make out a word that he is singing, but the song as a whole seems to work, which is the main thing. Stronger Than Dirt ((Homosexuality Pt. 2)) follows, and this and its companion piece I Feel Wrong ((Homosexuality Pt. 1)) bookend Dream Dream Dreaming. The first song is actually one of the better ones on here, and it does seem to be the slower songs that I am liking more. Dream Dream Dreaming is apparently a highly emotional song for Allen, being about his uncle who hanged himself, and containing an imagined apology from his uncle to his Dad, but had I not told you it is unlikely you could have guessed from Allens indecipherable vocals. I think this could be my main problem with Glasvegas, and that is that as Allen thinks that his lyrics are the most important part of his songs he doesnt spend enough time thinking up memorable tunes, and so all the tracks seem to blur into one. As good as Dream Dream Dreaming might be on an artistic level, you couldnt hum the tune after a dozen listens. Lost Sometimes is a slow burner of a track, starting quietly and gradually building up in tempo and volume to a euphoric finish, but the minimal lyrics do make it very repetitive towards the end. The album closes with a dialogue between Allen and his mother in Change, set to a ghostly piano backing, and ending the album on a very downbeat note. I cant really say that this album has changed my opinion of Glasvegas I still cant see why anyone would rave over them, but I acknowledge that there is something there which could appeal, but just not to me.