|Photo by: Amazon.com|
Key Tracks: "Need Your Love," "Rabbit Hole"
After watching the indie film 500 Days of Summer three years ago, I instantly became addicted to the soundtrack. I particularly fell in love with the track “Sweet Disposition” by The Temper Trap. Even today, every time I hear that song it brings me back to my favorite movie.
That being said, I had high hopes for the band's self-titled sophomore release. The group's debut album Conditions was masterful and The Temper Trap showed potential to become the next great alternative rock band.
But after the first listen, I couldn't help but feel disappointed. It didn’t sound like any kind of progression from Conditions.
Once I listened to the whole album a few more times however, I decided to ease up a bit. Although The Temper Trap is not yet where it needs to be to gain chart-topping status, the quintet has definitely matured since its debut. The album is listenable and possesses a pleasant variety of mellow and upbeat songs.
The album’s opener and first single, “Need Your Love,” is pop in its purest form--and catchy as hell. The lyrics are slightly cheesy, but it's the ultimate love song and sets the mood for the rest of the album.
Other than Dougy Mandagi’s unique vocals, the band relies mostly on synths. The instrumentals are generally pretty quiet throughout the album, as the lyrics ring out in the forefront of each track.
“London’s Burning” is the most interesting track on the album. It starts out with voice recordings from the 2011 London riots backed by heavy percussion that gives it a rough and dark edge. In sound, the song is reminiscent of “London Calling” by The Clash.
The album’s 10th track is where I decided I need to give this album, and the band, another chance. “Rabbit Hole” veers from the rest of the album and is a real attention-grabber. The song begins with Mandagi slurring the words in a falsetto. It gradually builds until about halfway through when it explodes into its fantastic musical peak.
Even though The Temper Trap's second album was not as impressive as it should have been, the band has not lost a fan. Hopefully the group has just chosen to play it safe with this album and will make its third album the ultimate break out.
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