Los Campesinos: Romance is Boring

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Los Campesinos 

Written By:

Aidan Williamson

19th January 2010
At 16:13 GMT

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You could make something of Los Campesinos impressive turnaround we suppose. 'Prolific' might be the word. Three albums released in two years is certainly a feat.

If this were an ideal world, we would be bolstering the band's appeal with phrases such as "...get better each album," or "...maturing wonderfully over time." Of course, the mere fact that we have Twilight as the biggest thing to hit teenage girls since Marlon King should illustrate that we do not live in an ideal one.

It could be diminished exuberance, it may well be industry fatigue but Romance Is Boring does not offer the sheer elation which could be found on their previous two album. The direction has taken a decidedly darkward turn! The themes are still a little immature, try making it through "Straight In At 101" without cringing, as you're faced with "I think we need more post-coital / and less post-rock / Feels like the build up takes forever / but you never touch my cock".

These are the exception rather than the rule though, since most of what we're offered on this one is beyond repute. Rarely will you find yourself dizzied by the sheer chaos of the performances, but you will certainly be smiling through the rough patches, having foraged plenty of morsels to tide you over from the brighter spots of the album. "In Media Res", "These Are Listed Buildings" and "Plan A" are more than enough to tide you over until the far superior final part of the album (following the bridging track "Heart Swells/100-1").

Not that Los Camp fall short in the area of subdued introspection, well, perhaps they do a little, but compared to the joyous bounce of some of the songs, others, such as "Who Fell Asleep In" and "I Warned You: Do Not Make an Enemy of Me" can seem a little drab by comparison, and can even make the album seem to be something of a slog on occasion.

The septet are still one of the more talented bands around though, but perhaps their ideas need to be paced a little better in the future. It's almost as if they're trying to burn out before they fade away. It will however be interesting to see the next album when the absence of absconded member Aleks truly begins to be felt. Until then, Romance Is Boring might be too much of a no-brainer to really engage with the casual fan. The diehards will likely be in twee-heaven though.

Rating:  6 / 10

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