Tennis - Yours Conditionally
The duo of Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley, better known as Tennis, have always had a very distinct sound. It is the warm, soothing pop of the 70s, compelling harmonies and a light musical touch. At times this has served them well but often they will get so wrapped up in sticking to the formula that the creativity seems to be lacking. This can lead to some tracks that sound one note, but sprinkled in Yours Conditionally are some really great tracks. When Moore is allowed to sing with some real soul and the tracks a little more on the funky side the song is vastly improved. "My Emotions Are Blinding" has this punch that I am talking about where you can sink into the groove almost effortlessly while other tracks are much more of a grind. One of the biggest issues throughout the record however is the percussion. You will not find a track here where the percussion is anything but a sore thumb. It is thin, hallow and besides keeping a semblance of time really adds zero to any of the tracks. "Ladies Don't Play Guitar" is a great example of this, because every other element is right there. The bass is pretty great, the lyrics solid and the vocals really fun, however the constant unwavering percusion just makes no sense at all.
That really is one of the lasting impressions of this record: It is good, but there just seems to be so many things lacking that you can never fully buy in. The overly sweet love songs also fall the most flat. Tennis are better with a little edge, something to set them apart from the actual 70s where sepia tone just ran rampant. You want to try and capture that spirit yet not imitate, and there is far to much imitation on Yours Conditionally. But, that is Tennis that is the brand of music they seem to want to create. The highs on the record though are really high making you have larger expectations than you might ordinarily, but it never lives up. The best advice I can give on this record is come for the singles, as most people do now anyway, and hope the next album packs more of a punch artistically.
6.0 out of 10