Sunflower Bean - Twentytwo in Blue
Twentytwo in Blue
Sunflower Bean's debut record Human Ceremony felt like the injection that INdie and Alternative rock needed. So many labum from so many indie bands recently have been boring, uninspired and holding on to a sound that just didn't sound at all fresh anymore. There were of course outliers with Sunflower Bean being one of them to infuse new drama and new excitement into the genre. This of course had a lot of people clamoring for what ever they were going to do next and we've arrived at this new record Twentytwo in Blue. The second track "I Was a Fool" gives you heavy Fleetwood Mac vibes, just that comfortable feeling when a male and female singer can work together to create this really great space. You get the sense that Fleetwood Mac loom pretty large in this bands mind on this record, far more than the previous. On Human Ceremony there was this almost frantic outpouring of music. Punk, Alt, New Wave and so much more snuck it's way on to that record so smoothly that you hardly even noticed. The trio felt like the coolest kids in the room, wise beyond their age and incredibly poised for the incoming praise that was on the horizon. This album feels the same way but this time it almost feels like they are too cool for their own good. The music is polished and refined, so tuned in that it feels almost flawless. That is where the issues begin for this record, it feels to perfect. The last record had some wild moments and some bombastic tendencies, but here the music is to perfect, the bands sound to unified. Human Ceremony felt alive and inspired but this album feels far more reverential than what they have done before. They have clicked into this indie sound that feels more constrictive, more direct and less fun.
The music is far more gentle on this record, almost unconcerned with the world around it, but the lyrics seem to blow that idea out of the water diving deep on what human connection really means. "Any Way You Like" feels almost like a dity at times, but then takes on =this whole other shape. It feels at times that because this album is so sleek it never has a chance to truly connect with the listener. The 11 tracks simply sail by, perfectly pleasant but you never find yourself crossing over from a state of like into a state of love. The album is just so incredibly nice that you want to love it, you want it to be much more connected than it ends up being. At the same time I would never call this album bad or not recommend it, but as a whole piece of work it just tends to fall a bit short. You want this record to move you, to make you feel something intense, but it never does. Even the moments of exuberance are understated and refined leaving them lacking in terms of letting loose. You find yourself desperate for this album to be more, but more of what is really tough to put your finger on. Maybe we'll just ahve to chalk this one up to the age old sophomore slump, I certainly hope so.
6.8 out of 10