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July 30, 2007 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

Art Brut – Its a Bit Complicated

It’s a bit complicated to review the second album from English indie band Art Brut.

Their first album was an interesting mix of great and really mediocre songs, and this album has kept up this unfortunate tradition. Most songs are filled with dull, guitar-heavy riffs with singer Eddie Argos slowly singing/talking over the music.

But it’s the song structure and clichéd catchy choruses that let Art Brut down the most, such as the melancholic ‘Blame it on the Trains’ or ‘The Sound of Summer’ (which does admittedly start well, with a swingy beat and alternations between heavy power chords and the background singers’ “oooh”-ing and “ahhh”-ing – however, it’s the repetitive ‘verse, chorus, verse, chorus, verse’ structure that kills this track – as with most of the songs from It’s a Bit Complicated).

‘Post Soothing Out’ also starts off well, giving the listener a sense of false hope with upbeat, melodic guitar. But, again, the tedious ‘chorus, verse, chorus’ kicks in. The songs really seem to drag on and become slightly boring due to their lack of originality, both structurally and musically.

However, props to Art Brut for the amazing lyrics. My personal favourite (lyrically), ‘Jealous Guy’, is about a guy who goes home with a girl – but instead of getting “sexy”, she goes to sleep: “you’re asleep, I wish I was too/but I can’t because I’ve got something to prove/I try to wake you with a really loud cough/I accidentally set your alarm clock off.” Likewise, ‘I Will Survive’ also contains some lyrical gems, and appears to describe the all too familiar lifestyle of the poor student: “I’d love some tea but you won’t find a cup/I’ve been using this saucepan to avoid washing up/if you’re cold and hungry put on a coat/I’ve bread, it’s stale, you can’t tell it’s not toast/You’re always welcome to crash on my floor/but there’s no key or lock for the door”.

Good lyrics aside, the bad news for Art Brut is that we can’t judge an album by its lyrics alone. So, in the wise wise words of my flatmate: “Burn it, don’t buy it.”


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