Los Campesinos! - Hello Sadness - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Los Campesinos! - Hello Sadness

by Steve Reynolds Rating:7 Release Date:2011-11-14

Hello Sadness is the fourth album by Los Campesinos! and tells tales of love, lust, irony, football, all with some severe tongue-in-cheek. Led by commander-in-chief Gareth Campesinos, they exist mainly for their lyric content more than relying on their hooks and musicianship. Gareth's lyrics contrast sharply with the buoyant and bouncy indie fare that the seven-piece churn out. His self-deprecating and to a certain degree Morrissey-style self-loathing lyrics make him sound stripped naked and hung out to dry, and we can all relate to certain elements of his songs.

Hello Sadness is very dark, much moodier and downbeat than 2009's almost smiley Romance is Boring, which playfully jostled around fractions of heady male testosterone and swarms of post coital joy. 'Songs About Your Girlfriend' is set against a tidal wave of angry, angst-ridden guitar and is an ode to unrequited love. It's certainly not got a happy outlook but positively aches with personality and fervour. Break-up songs are all too simply done in this day and age but the lyrics to 'Life is a Long Time' are broken into two people's tales and Gareth's ability to paint both sides of the story is a warming sentiment against the soaring guitar, doubled up perfectly with the clean backing vocals.

Let's be honest, songs about football aren't generally very good minus the mighty 'World in Motion' of course, but Gareth sings about his other passion in life, The England National Football Team, on 'Every Defeat a Divorce (Three Lions)'. It's a welcome respite in terms of subject matter but still captures the grim long-term suffering of England as he delivers the line "These three lions that were sitting on my chest, are clawing hard into my skin as I am gasping for my breath," and delivers the hard-hitting chorus: "Every defeat a divorce, although I look surprised, it's par for the course I guess". Not exactly hit material is it, eh?

'Baby I Got the Death Rattle' is frankly grim and rather chilling with some cold and black-hearted lyrics such as "Baby, I got the death rattle and, baby, I got it bad, I've been diggin' my grave for quite some time, when I'm not diggin' up the past". Gareth rounds things off with "Not headstone, but headboard is where I wanna be mourned". Read into those lyrics what you want but it's almost like a "Sleep with me or I'm out of here" reposte. It's a heavy, downbeat and rather moving affair and not for the faint-hearted.

Hello Sadness is at times a very difficult listen, but if you listen to it and not immerse yourself in it too deeply you can relate to some of what Los Campesinos! are trying to say with the multiple twists and turns in their lyrics. Be prepared for some bruising content and some rampant guitar and drums but don't expect any silly love songs!

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