In danger of repeating myself, 2015 has brought up some incredible albums so far and it's only March. It really seems like this year is going to be a really good year for us music lovers over here.
I'm happy I get to share music I enjoy by reviewing it for you.
Today I've got some opinions about Kodaline's newest record "Coming Up For Air". I was given the deluxe edition, so if you decide to get the record yourself, make sure to keep in mind that there are two versions. (The deluxe edition simply contains more songs.)
Title: Coming Up For Air
Label: Sony Music / B-Unique
Release: 6th February 2015
HITS rating: 8/10
Kodaline are a four piece from Dublin, Ireland. In order to genre-fy them, the words alternative and folk-rock/indie-rock are used. The band has been around for while, has gone through a lineup change, a band name change and had a few hits already.
Steve Garrigan (lead vocals, keyboards, rhythm guitar, mandolin, harmonica)
Mark Prendergast (lead guitar, backing vocals, keyboards)
Vinny May (drums, percussion, backing vocals)
Jason Boland (bass, backing vocals)
Their debut record, "In A Perfect World" (released in 2013), led to titles like BBC's Sound Of 2013 and made the media fall in love with the four Irishmen who go under the name Kodaline.
Now they are here with "Coming Up For Air", a record which "was recorded and mastered within 3 months", the guys told us. Did it take things to another level? Let's find out!
2. The One
4. Human Again
6. Coming Alive
10. Everything Works Out In The End
11. Play The Game
12. Love Will Set You Free
13. Caught In The Middle
15. Moving On
16. Honest (Acoustic)
In our interview with the lads they said they "didn't want to make the same record twice". This already gives you the hint that you'll find a few new elements on "Coming Up For Air".
Opener and first single "Honest" slowly but surely prepares the listener to get used to the newer elements, the synths. The song reminds me a bit of a big movie anthem; multiple layered vocals in the chorus, classical piano meets slightly edgier synths paired with a spot on rhythm section.
"Autopilot" still keeps things rather simple. It's a well arranged tune which showcases singer Steve's vocal range; known for a charasmatic higher voice he also uses his deep vocals to give the song more intensity. And hell, it works well!
You're wondering when Kodaline's sound is going to transform a bit more? Here you go - "Human Again" holds a lot more rock elements. Bass and synths go hand in hand, the drums support the new constellation. And the vocals? They are spot on, lead as well as backing vocals.
If you listen closely, you'll realise that the band knows exactly what backing vocals can do. "Play The Game" is carried by fantastic vocal work paired with a well used distortion pedal. The sound is a lot rockier, almost a bit dirty. Well played, Kodaline!
When you ask fans of the band what they like about the music, you'll get the answer "the lyrics" pretty often. And ballad "Love Will Set You Free" definitely proves their point. This beautifully slow speeded song is going to make you swoon. Don't even try to deny it!
To sum it up: The band has definitely matured as musicians. Their sound range grew wider, got a bit more grip and even got a bit edgier. Yet you can still hear it's Kodaline, the band who convinced critics with their honest, deep and well produced songs.
You should listen to these tracks: Honest, Autopilot, Ready, Play The Game, Love Will Set You Free
Thank you for reading!
Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Kodaline press kit (Sony Music Germany)