February 26, 2010

Shout Out Louds: Work

If you're a Shout Out Louds fan chances are you'll like their new album "Work" just fine. As with their previous two releases this record is up-tempo, fun, and easy to listen to. However, none of the tracks on "Work" jump out at me as immediate favorites the way say "Very Loud" or "Tonight I Have to Leave It" did on earlier releases. I guess in the end I prefer the moody "Cure cover band" style of "Our Ill Wills" produced by Bjorn Yttling (of Peter Bjorn & John). "Work" was produced by Phil Ek (produced Fleet Foxes) and you can definitely hear the difference. The production here is more restrained and organic; the synthesizers have been replaced by honest to goodness real pianos. For me these guys are better when their irresistible energy is balanced by some 80's angsty gloom and cheesy production. "Work" is a bit boring without it. Highlights are "1999", "Fall Hard", "Show Me Something New", and "Walls". All in all this is not a bad record (say 7 out of 10), it's just probably not the record I'll pick in the future when jonesing for the Shout Out Louds.

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