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You Say, We Say
Pop-Heavy Second Outing From Dublin Rockers
Celina Murphy, 18 Mar 2011
It seems like an aeon since Dublin sextet Royseven dropped their debut album The Art Of Insincerity, which was released to much critical ooh-ing and aah-ing back in 2006. Around the same time that Snow Patrol, Bell X1 and Director were making their respective splashes, Royseven’s first record was being hailed as one of the most accomplished Irish debuts ever.
But Irish music has shifted since then. Independent artists are making such an experimental racket these days that critics and musos alike may be inclined to skim over well-executed pop rock. (“What? No harpsichord?” and so forth…) Unless you’ve borrowed some monster wedding-friendly melodies from The Script, your heavily-produced, smoothed-out rock can’t be considered a sure-fire winner right now.
Either way, it’s curious that Royseven have chosen to take their formerly brooding sound in precisely this direction. You Say, We Say is built from hook-driven, upbeat numbers that bear none of the melancholy of previous hits like ‘Older’ and ‘Crash’.
For the most part, it’s booming dance floorrock all the way. ‘I Need To Know Your Name’ kicks off with infectious guitar riffs that wouldn’t have been out of place on Two Door Cinema Club’s debut, while ‘Killer’ has all the charm of chart-topping ‘Animal’ by Stateside newcomers Neon Trees. Even softer tunes like ‘The Big Blue’ and ‘Walls’ charge along at a danceable pace. Along with catchy epic ‘We Should Be Lovers’, ‘Every Line’s The Last One’ is a clear stand-out – brash, sinister and, as it happens, slightly less refined than the other 11 tracks.
It may be too perfectlly polished for some, but lyrically and melodically, Royseven have ticked all the boxes. You Say, We Say is a highly likable, consistent record… even if you do feel like roughing up their hair every now and then.