- 12 Jun 20
The 'Line offer up a commercial blockbuster with genuine depth.
One Day At A Time brings Irish pop-rock juggernauts Kodaline back to their roots. On this occasion, the recording sessions revolved around the band members setting up shop in a modest Dublin studio. The effect is that they have stripped back the layers of added production, revealing afresh a sense of vulnerability and intimacy.
Their signature tugging-at-the-heartstrings style remains central, with songs that tell stories of love, loss and longing. Just about every track reaches an anthemic climax: their ability to conjure-up an incredibly catchy chorus is as impressive as always. Even after just a few listens, it feels right to start singing and swaying along. This is powerful, affecting pop music.
In particular, ‘The Evening’ offers beautiful highs and lows, making it an almost-cinematic, standout track. And the powerful, arena-ready ‘In The End’ serves as a perfect closing shot, radiating a warm sense of optimism that stays with the listener, long after the music has ended.
Individually, the songs on One Day At A Time feel real, honest, and emotionally strong. Together, on occasion they tend to blend into one another both topically and sonically. This is arguably a modern phenomenon, in an era when tracks are so often released separately online. ‘Saving Grace’ and ‘Say Something’, for example, are like minor variations on the same story of wanting to be there for someone you love through thick and thin.
The lyrics, specifically in the case of ‘Sometimes’, can also feel curiously matter-of-fact. In contrast, the willingness to experiment that’s evident on tracks like the trap-beat-infused ‘Care’ underlines that Kodaline have not abandoned their sense of adventure.
The good news is that, ultimately, Kodaline have been successful in their goal of focusing on emotional storytelling. This is what has garnered them die-hard fans around the globe. With stadium-ready anthems to the fore, for the most part, One Day At A Time, achieves a wonderful combination of the raw emotion of Irish balladry and the mass appeal of pop.
We might be hearing more of these lads!