Tennis - Young And Old

by Miz DeShannon Rating:6 Release Date:2012-02-13

Husband and wife team Tennis return with album number two, Young and Old. After Cape Dory brought bouncy tunelfulness and jumped on that infectious lo-fi pop bandwagon, this second release is somewhat more slow-paced. Bands have historically struggled with their second release, keeping up with the reputation and manifesto they set out with their first. Although Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley have obviously got a good knack for writing catchy tunes with a substantial story behind them (Cape Dory was based on their seafaring trip) there is less of teeny-bopping bounciness and more harmonious maturity in Young and Old.

Starting with 'It All Feels the Same', the album is filled with the ethereal vocals of Moore and some surprisingly grungy guitar riffs from Riley on 'Origins'. There are still dreamy melodies and happiness oozing from the tracks, with new inclusions of paino and organ whirrs here and there. 'Travelling' and 'High Road' uphold the energy from earlier releases like 'Take Me Somwehere', while 'Petition' and 'Take Me to Heaven' have more of a laid-back, ballad-like feel.

Taking on the producing skills of The Black Keys' drummer Patrick Carney, perfectly complimenting the duo's sound, and apparently working with a full band, Tennis have retained their effortless retro feel, but this album is reflective of things experienced as a grown up rather than the excitement of first love. Young and Old does therefore lose some of that spontenaeity which made their first release so absorbing, but considering that was all somewhat of an accident, it must be hard to recreate the same feelings of adventure. Ultimately, the saccharine sweetness of this latest release is a bit hard to swallow.

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