- by D R Pautsch Rating:7 Release Date:2016-09-09 Label: Loma Vista Recordings
Three albums in and Las Vegas' Local Natives have decided to switch things up a little. On Sunlit Youth they have started to include synths and other hooks to try and give a bit more spice to proceedings. The result is a more stadium friendly album than previous efforts. Big choruses and sweeping songs are in evidence here to try and give an almost epic feel at times.
Fountain of Youth is a big number where their world weariness is met with an upswing of mood and large swooning vocals. It's a heady and brilliant number that sounds like Coldplay used to when they were good. And yes they were once... a long time ago. The laid back funk and soul approach of Coins could appear on many a soul tinged album and it stands up here as one of the strongest songs on offer. Funky, soulful and just enough originality to pull it through. It's quite a distance from what Local Natives have produced before.
The synth laden Villainy has hooks and mood enough to stick around in the ears for a long time. That sometimes this feels like it's trying too hard is a little distraction as it covers points from soul to an almost The XX sounding track on Dark Days. This really swings for the fences to try and gain more airplay and fans and largely it succeeds. There aren't bad songs here and it maybe just lacks the depth to really break through.
To come from their debut to this shows quite a passage. This has moved their sound far more into the mainstream and far more into what might make an impact. They have lost a little along the way but this is an album of tuneful, soulful and often very good music that deserves to be heard.