Two Door Cinema Club’s Alex Trimble, Kevin Baird and Sam Halliday are back with a follow-up to their debut album Tourist History, and being somewhat a fan I was expecting nothing less than matured, polished electro-pop/rock perfection with enthusiastically titled sophomore album Beacon.
Not only has the band’s song “I Can Talk” been featured in video games Fifa 2011 and NBA 2011, as well as having more of their tracks appear in the background in a host of commercial advertisements, the lovely lads from Northern Ireland have rocked main stages at Oxegen, Coachella, Glastonbury, T in the Park and Lollapalooza, to name but a few. Despite having these impressive accomplishments under their belts before they have even reached their mid-twenties, the indie youngsters could easily be mistaken for recent IT Graduates. With their pale bespectacled baby faces, they look like the sweet, preppy underdogs of every teen movie under the sun. The band’s quietly endearing persona accompanies their quirky, teen-angsty, but mostly upbeat music, and has led to the procurement of a legion of dedicated followers over the past five years. Lead vocalist Alex has the freckled face of a Ginger Irish angel (seriously, the man could not look more Irish) and quite definitely a voice to match.
So did Beacon satisfy my musical craving? Not quite. Despite being produced by Jacknife Lee, who has worked with the likes of U2, Bloc Party and Snow Patrol, and while the album certainly begins on a high note with the heartbroken lover’s song “Next Year”, all other songs would have fit right at home on their debut album. A number of tracks are sometimes difficult to distinguish from one another and are honestly, easily forgettable. The overall feel of the album does come across as oh-so-slightly heavier and contains a sliver more emotion. However, instead of progressing like I very much hoped they would have, Trimble & Co. have carelessly hit an uninspiring plateau. In fact, Beacon feels like a decidedly direct replica of their previous gem, much to my disappointment.
Even though the album sorely did not meet my own personal expectations, current fans among us who are happy to listen to the ongoing peppy sound that Two Door Cinema Club possess will probably take more of a liking to this recent album attempt. Their music continues to remain mostly positive with songs such as “Sun”, “Someday” and (the only song that I will seek out in my iTunes library) “Handshake”, but is still interspersed with more melancholic, angst-filled tones, such as in tracks “Next Year” and “Settle”.
I imagine that although the album itself will not achieve mass critical acclaim, one or two of the songs quite possibly might. In fact I would not be surprised to hear one playing in the background of a TV Commercial, or another Sport-based Video Game.