Thursday, March 26, 2009

Album Review - The Boy Least Likely to

The Boy Least Likely to - The Law of the Playground (2009)
Too Young to Die

TBLLT's debut, The Best Party Ever was one of the most whimsical releases of 2005, if not of the '00's however it seriously lacked energetic tracks in order to make it fully enjoyable.

Thankfully after a long four year wait the band are back and dutifully they have remedied every glitch that their debut contained. Not only do the songs sound more confident but at the same time there's a certain bounciness which there really was before, or at least was used sparingly (at the moment Be Gentle with me, papercuts and Warm Panda Cola come to mind). Also the songs have more orchestration (The Boy Least Likely to is a Machine. although basically every track has it's own type of flourish) which makes them more full.

Mind you there are some things which do not change and Jof Owen's penchant for writing twee lyrics, he still is the shy, child-like, slightly bumbling dreamer that he protrayed in 'The Best Party Ever' but there is absolutely nothing wrong with this as it provides a nice contrast with the record's upbeat feel.

It is also an instantly likeable album. There is a certain immediacy that makes you want to embrace the record in a split second. True it is cute and cuddly but it also danceable as seen in 'Balloon on a Broken String' or 'I Box up all the Butterflies' and there's quite a few anthems in Law of the Playground. Opener 'Saddle up' will instantly make one pay attention. Standout I keep Myself to Myself should be used as the official theme song for some edition of the Indie Pop Olympics and 'When Life Gives Lemons I make Lemonade' will make you salute to the sky.

Despite the long duration of The Law of The Playground, TBLLT have managed to avoid the dreaded sophomore slump and come up trumps with stronger album. In the track Stringing up Conkers' there's quote which sums up the band's oeuvre

I just want to change the world in whatever little way I can

with two good albums under their belts they'll soon achieve world domination....soon

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