Album: Animal Kingdom, Signs and Wonders (Warner Brothers)
Friday 02 October 2009
The cover to Animal Kingdom's debut, all downcast tones of grey and beige, accurately conveys the bland fare offered by this hotly-tipped new British band.
The title track neatly encapsulates their unadventurous formula, with its groove reminiscent of The Cure, echoes of Coldplay in the melody, and a soupçon of Muse in the fascination with mysterious portents. "Good Morning" opens the album positively, with its conversational reference to "mister magpie" hinting at roots in UK folklore; but the initially intriguing vocal, with shades of Yes's Jon Anderson in Richard Sauberlich's high-register delivery, quickly becomes more of a millstone as the narrowness of his emotional range becomes evident. It's all pitched at the same level, using the same few chords in predictable sequences – he could be reading the phone directory. Lyrically, there are dull borrowings from The Bible and The Wizard Of Oz, a dollop or two of comforting Coldplay-style solace, and a rather distasteful vein of juvenile self-regard in the simplistic faux-rebellious superiority of "Yes Sir, Yes Sir". Worse still is the portentous gloating of "Into The Sea", glibly depicting a businessman's suicidal mid-life crisis. Signs And Wonders is yet more self-important, herbivorous stadium melancholia begging to be put out of its misery.
Download this: Good Morning
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