Teenager

Unusually for a Teenager, this album has taken a long time to come.

Unusually for a Teenager, this album has taken a long time to come. Excuse the woeful pun but, seriously, it’s been three years since Let’s Bottle Bohemia, and industry rumour had it that The Thrills’ perfectionism was delaying this long-awaited third long-player. Thankfully, for the most part, it’s proved worth the wait.

Recorded in Vancouver with Bohemia producer Tony Hoffer at the helm once again, it’s a lot less sun-drenched than their previous offerings. Openers ‘The Midnight Choir’ and ‘This Year’ are buoyant, joyful pop songs, but the mood darkens considerably with ‘Nothing Changes Around Here’ and there’s a definite sense of angst and melancholy thereafter (“If you’re looking for famous last words/So long/Just don’t tell me that you loved me/All along”).

Thematically, the title says it all. These are songs about awkward “backseat fumblings”, messy break-ups, unrequited love and lust, and about the loss of innocence and leaving it all behind. Conor Deasey’s distinctive voice is as love-it-or-loathe-it as ever, but lyrically he’s definitely matured. On ‘I Came All This Way’ he sings scornfully: “While your boyfriend plagiarises someone else’s life/And passes it off as his own.”

Musically, not a whole lot has changed. As tight and polished as ever, they’ve obviously been listening to the janglier moments of REM’s Green in the studio. ‘Long Forgotten Song’ borrows quite heavily from The Waterboys’ ‘Whole Of The Moon’, but is no worse for that. And the title track sounds like Mazzy Star with a male vocalist.

Three strikes and The Thrills are still in, but a change of musical direction might be advisable for album number four. Having said that, there’s much to like about this.

 

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