Vance Joy - Nation of Two
Nation of Two
The Taylor Swift endorsement was a big deal back in 2015 when She brought Vance Joy on her 1989 world tour. Seemingly out of no where the Aussie singer songwriter had all the answers about writing a love song and was handsome enough to boot. All the pieces were in place for an Ed Sheeran like rise to power and fame, but on this sophomore effort we are seeing some of the same cracks that were the undoing of Sheeran. This new record is filled with so much sap, and so much dime store philosophy it is almost painful. "When I see your light shine I'm coming home" is the lyric on "We're Going Home" and it could not be a more predictable song. The same can be said of the entire record, love songs that barely scratch the surface of what real love is. There is no drama no issue, just a couple of people deeply in love throughout the entire record. It feels like Joy is going for a James Taylor type of sound but He doesn't have that deep understanding of what really makes people tick. "Saturday Sun" could not be a more basic upbeat love song that on the surface has a funish beat to it, but when you dig even an inch down the entire thing falls apart into an almost kid song type of mess. This track in particular feels like it could be either about enjoying the weekend sun with your lover or about counting to 10, either would work just about the same and that's a problem. Everything sounds really pretty and with an echo effect on his vocal it seems like He is really laying his heart on line but that is just an acoustic guitar playing tricks on you.
You keep waiting for something other than an acoustic guitar opening spilling into some big declaration of love, but every song follows the exact same format. The formula is so dialed in that you are desperate for even the slightest change just to loosen things up. "I'm With You" is this absolute drag of a song and you would hope the next track would change things a bit but it's just another acoustic driven toe tapper. The entirety of Nation of Two sounds like what a teenage boy thinks women want to hear, an enitre album written by Hallmark card. Even if some of the music grabs you at the beginning the lyrics just pull the whole thing down not to mention the tracks such as "Like Gold" that are almost the exact same line of music over and over again. Even the production fails Joy, sliding into this Country/Singer Songwriter style that fits absolutely no one in 2018. I could go on, but every song is the same, every sentiment is the same and this one note just never connects. I thought Vane Joy's last album was just ok, but this one He shows that maybe there never really was anything behind these songs besides some pop psychology. Nation of Two would be a much better record if it were a Nation of None.
5.0 out of 10