This review was one of the easier reviews I wrote for Cool Try.
I found the album to be superficial and shallow in a bad way.
That’s all I have to say about this review.
Aside from adding a space, this review is presented as it was.
Most of the reviews I write now appear on Culture Eater, a website I co-run with a colleague of mine. We’re aiming to cover more of the arts rather than just music which is slowly happening.
To help reduce the pressure we’ve gone onto Patreon. It means that the more supporters we get, the more both other contributors and myself can focus on producing work of a higher quality. It also reduces the pressure of getting stuff out on Stupidity Hole.
We’re looking at what we can give to supporters as we don’t want to set up a one way relationship, so suggestions are welcome. Please consider supporting, or at least sharing the Patreon page with others.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy.
I don’t know who Busby Marou are, but I do know that they’ve released a new album, Postcards from the Shell House.
The album is a collection of melodic pop songs with soft verses and anthemic choruses. Songs utilise acoustic instrumentation for primary structure, which works well. The songs are short and mostly get in and out before dragging on, leaving enough to be listened through without having to worry too much about patience. However, they all sound as though they’ve been heard before. The melodies sound like a good portion of the anthemic guitar pop that’s been used in a number of ads from (at least) the last five years. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing and Busby Marou do a decent job. The issue is that it sounds as though Busby Marou are using a strict, basic template and don’t want to deviate.
The vocal melodies are strong, knowing when to rise and fall, leading to emphasise the emotional boost of the anthemic choruses. However, combined with the overly basic lyrics that seem written more for mass appeal than for any sort of emotional resonance due to how overly basic and sugary-sweet they are, they feel more contrived than they should.
Postcards from the Shell House has some great melodies and vocal harmonies. It also sounds a lot like an album made up from a collection of the kind of mass audience appeal songs that seem to be used for a lot of advertising. It’s fun and enjoyable, but goes a little too hard to having effort in the singalong, catchy choruses and overly simplistic lyrics, squandering the songwriting talents of the duo.
There’s nothing wrong with upbeat pop music and anyone who says otherwise is kidding themselves. The problem is that it follows conventions a little too closely and, whilst Busby Marou do a decent job, decent isn’t good enough for the types of songs that they’re writing.
Postcards from the Shell House makes for nice pop music but it lacks any soul or lasting power.