I’ve decided to go down a new avenue for this next article. While I’ve tried to maintain a positive disposition when it comes to exploring new music, I can’t help but feel so disappointed in a couple albums that I’ve decided I need to vent. So, this is where it’s going to happen.
Glasvegas – EUPHORIC /// HEARTBREAK \\\
Now, you can argue that potential is just that, potential. It’s not a concrete indicator of how good a band will be in the future, it’s just an intangible way of believing that they are destined for better things. You see it in sports all the time, and you hear players being described as “wasted potential”. The same thing applies in music, but I do believe that potential does matter, even in some small way, when it comes to whether a band will achieve something better than what they currently have.
For example, Glasvegas has potential. They have so much of it, that they could be as famous and loved worldwide as U2 or Radiohead. And that’s more than I could ever say about these guys(LOL @ the hair). Any band that has ever reached their peak has, at some time, had potential. So hopefully you can understand how maddening it is to watch a band regress in the way Glasvegas has with this album.
Some of it is good. REALLY good. “The World is Yours”, for example, shows what they are capable of, and this should have been the road they followed throughout the album. “You” and “Shine Like Stars” are decent, except for the fact that the latter track busts out some awkward sort of dance vibe, but “Whatever Hurts you Through the Night” and the two-song arc of homosexuality just feel so contrived, whereas on their debut they tackled all sorts of personal issues with such grace. On “I Feel Wrong”, James Allan croons, “I can’t carry on/I must be strong/Even though it hurts as I sing this song”. Really, dude? It’s so lazy, and almost disrespectful to homosexuals who actually have had difficulty dealing with their sexuality.
Mostly, the tone of the album is fine. The production value is excellent. What really hurts this album is that it’s all over the place thematically, the pacing is just a joke, and it is damn boring. I never expected to say that about a Glasvegas album, but I guess there’s a first for everything.
If you’ve ever heard Jimmy Tamborello’s last album, Life is Full of Possibilities, then you know his DNTEL project is filled to the brim with potential. He evokes truly organic emotion by digital means in a way that stays with you for much longer than most electronic albums. DNTEL showed some exciting promise as he progressed musically from one album to another.
So what’s wrong? Dumb Luck is. Even with all the guest singers, including Lali Puna, Fog, Grizzly Bear, Jenny Lewis, and Conor Oberst, Dumb Luck is simply a bore. It trudges along like a sloth in quicksand, never bringing anything remotely exciting or satisfying to the table. The only thing it really has going for it is one single song.
“Dumb Luck”, the title track, is utterly amazing. With Tamborello on vocals, acoustic guitar sets the foundation and rhythm of the track while an intense cloud of fuzzy feedback keeps things intense. Singing about the fleeting nature of success, it opens the album with a bang, and really makes you believe that you’re about to go on a ride. And then the rest of the album happens.
It’s upsetting because it seems so clear to me, and I would have imagined it would be clear to him as well. And by that, I mean he should be singing these songs, instead of tailoring his sound to others’ styles. When he’s able to explore his own sound, he gives you a track like “Dumb Luck”, and that’s what the rest of Dumb Luck needed.
And here’s a video from DNTEL’s “Life is Full of Possibilities” album feat. Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie: