Slow Club - Paradise - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Slow Club - Paradise

by Nathan Fidler Rating:7 Release Date:2011-09-12

Trying to shake off the labels 'twee' and 'cute' which were first shackled to Slow Club has forced them to take strides in their musical progression. Paradise sees the duo begin by pushing for soul on songs like 'Never Look Back' then slowly bringing back the tribal beats of old. Beats are what made their first album such a popular record and they haven't abandoned that ship totally yet.

'Where I'm Waking' features bellowing which will no doubt solicit audience participation as well as roomy guitars which sit and fizz in the wings until called upon for the chorus. Lyrically, Charles Watson and Rebecca Taylor sing about unrequited love and tension, as 'Hackney Marsh' amply demonstrates: "Currency can ruin friendships, a mattress will do it too, and you know that it's time to be leaving." Not a full departure from the old but there is the sense of a slightly more bitter outlook this time.

For avid followers of the band, who love to watch Rebecca thump her way through a song on a floor tom and snare, there are plenty of melody and the-day-after-the-night-before songs. Those who enjoyed the quainter side the band demonstrated on Yeah So might find themselves yearning for a more straight-forward band, where love and happiness go hand-in-hand. By the middle of the album 'Beginners' and 'You, Earth or Ash' might bore some as the band take a quiet thoughtful moment to themselves.

However, you have to hand it to Slow Club, they have made enough changes to keep things fresh. It would have been so easy to regurgitate the previous album. Even the mixing is laid out better this time with chimes and the ringing of chords given room to breathe (or purposely mushed into the centre as on 'The Dog' only to roll out of the sides later). There is also no lack of diversity in the arrangements with the instrument roster even including a well placed saxophone solo.

After hearing this album, one thing listeners will agree on is that Watson and Taylor make a formidable vocal team, complementing one another's tales seamlessly, neither one scared to take duties at the forefront. No note is too low or high for this pair.

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