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Friday, June 23, 2017

Los Campesinos! falls out with love

Los Campesinos! makes a spunky downward love spiral.

Feb. 2, 2010

Lead singer Gareth Campesino!, of the band Los Campesinos!, described his band's new album, Romance is Boring, as "the best record we've made by a massive stretch," in his blog.

Upon listening to the album, the reality of this statement becomes all the more apparent. Compared to the band's two previous releases, Hold on Now, Youngster and We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed, its most recent endeavor is much more cohesive.

Romance is Boring continues with the band's signature pessimism toward anything love-related. The entire album centers on a character losing his faith in love. As the songs do not move chronologically through our hopeless character's path to a dismal romance, listeners will notice drastic mood swings between tracks.

Tracks, such as "Plan A," focus on the start of the relationship, the high hopes one has for their newfound significant other. Conversely, tracks such as, "Heart Swells/100-1," concentrate on the end and more depressing parts of a relationship. At only 46 seconds, "Heart Swells/100-1" brings some of the most emotional lyrics: "By now it's just the three of us/Me/Your Shadow/Your Echo/I do not believe that I've ever felt any more alone."

The beauty of Romance is Boring comes in the form of Gareth's witty lyrics. He efficiently brings the listener into the inner, deepest thoughts one can have. He speaks for everyone who has ever had a failed relationship, while being comical and heart wrenching at the same time. Unlike bands, such as Bright Eyes, that make depressing songs that reflect the dismal lyrics with low-key sounds, Los Campesinos! has perfected the art of making its depressing songs danceable.

Songs, such as "Straight In at 101," beg the listener to dance. As one of the best songs on the album, it's complete with a thumping beat, catchy guitar riff and conveniently placed hand claps. One can't help but bounce up and down while chiming in with the Campesinos to sing, "I think we need more post-coital and less post rock."

Another shining jewel on the album is the first single "The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future." The track features a variety of instruments and lovely string arrangements. The song remains calm with light violins and triangle taps in the background until the chorus, during which drums and cymbals all come in to make for an epic sound. It is one of the most heartfelt tracks on the album and tugs at the heartstrings with each new verse.

The only downside to the album is co-singer Aleks Campesinos!' voice. At times her voice just doesn't fit the mood, especially in songs such as "We've Got Your Back (Documented Minor Emotional Breakdown #2)." This is Gareth's tale and she seems like an out of place player. Coincidentally, Aleks announced she would be leaving the band after the release of this album. Taking her place in the lineup will be Gareth's sister Kim Campesinos!.

Romance is Boring is an all around great album. By the end the message is clear: Romance is anything but boring.

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