Thursday, 26 May 2011

Dissecting a Debut - Young the Giant

 Young the Giant, despite their grammatically incorrect name, still manage to get a few things rights on their debut effort.

They dish up 12 songs worth of sunny, Orange county, indie pop - fresh with jangly guitars and an all too familiar verse-chorus structure. Our good friends at Pitchfork gave this record a 2.something, which is like kicking a kid in the face because he missed a shot a goal.
 Yeah sure, its nothing grand or even remotely memorable for most of it, but it's difficult to be too critical of YTG, after all, they're clearly not trying to change the game or deliver a masterpiece (well, let's hope they aren't). You have to take this record with a pinch of salt, and realise that this won't be making any top 10 lists for 2011, but just enjoy what they do actually get right.

Take opener 'Apartment', for example. It's catchy, got a cool melody, has a killer chord progression in the chorus and has what the rest of the album ultimately fails to deliver: just a bit of heart and soul.
This is one side of the YTG coin, and on the other is 'My Body'. With its stadium sounding drums, anthemic chorus and raw energy, its clear proof that YTG can belt out a solid and catchy tune aswell as your somewhat cliched heartfelt number.

Unfortunately, much like a coin, there seems to be only two sides to be found on this album - or rather just those two songs. And even more unfortunate is that they're the two opening songs on the album!!! (but we'll address this issue another time).
Ok, the rest of the album isn't terrible. 'I Got' showcases some more tightnit guitar interplay, 'Strings' has some nice intricate melodies and closer, 'Guns Out' contains probably the best vocal delivery of the whole album.
But other songs like '12 Fingers' and 'Cough Syrup' are either unmemorable or just plain annoying. And unfortunately, more than half the tracks on the album fall into one of these categories which on a whole, makes for a relatively uninspiring and a frankly, boring listen.

So all in all, Young the Giant are probably are band to keep an eye on and definitely one that has talent no doubt. But as far as THIS album is concerned, its a bit of let-down. It gets off to a flying start, but there's just too much averageness and mediocrity to save itself by the end. Not even the shuffle button will help listening to this album, but hey at least there's the >> button....


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