Album: The Enemy, Music for the People (Warner Brothers)

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

There's something rather sinister about the title of The Enemy's second album – as if all other music were somehow against "the people" (whoever they are); or as if the band's modest creations had been officially sanctioned as fit for our ears.

I'm instinctively suspicious about this kind of eagerly populist music, which invariably hides naked commercial ambitions behind a facade of oppositional posturing. Thus we get lighters-aloft anthems about their working-class roots ("Silver Spoon"), sub-Springsteen dynamics pairing piano with big power-chord guitar riffs ("Sing When You're in Love") and self-pitying ballads seeking fellowship with the suicidal ("Last Goodbye"). And, as befits an Oasis support band, any number of "references" to earlier influences, from the echoes of Pulp's "Common People" in the patronising "Nation of Checkout Girls", to the "London Calling" feel of "Don't Break the Red Tape", whose smug chorus of "don't try and stop us" erroneously presupposes that we care one way or the other. But bands like The Enemy have always required some non-existent antagonist that can be blamed for adolescent dissatisfactions which are probably more hormonal in origin. I just wish they had more musical ambition.

Download this: "Sing When You're in Love", "No Time For Tears"