Thursday, July 8, 2010

Review: Tokyo Police Club- Champ

Watching Tokyo Police Club's performance at Coachella this year, I couldn't help but take note of the fact that they looked more mature and sure of themselves on stage. They played a hefty mix of their debut album and songs from "Champ" and it was easy to distinguish which songs came from which album even if you weren't familiar with the band. The songs off "Elephanst Shell" came off more like beat stompers and the kind of songs a band who would open up for Blink 182 would. The songs off "Champ", not so much.

This is a more relaxed effort from the Canadian band who find themselves more at ease and better song writers. The lyrics that Dave Monks sing aren't childish as they could be, instead they could almost be looked at as thoughtful and even engaging. Album opener "Favourite Food" and "Hands Reversed" not only act as supreme stand out tracks for the album, but a hell of a showcase for a once buzzband who show what they can do when they reach their potential.

That's not to say this album doesn't have its problems. Like Wolf Parade's "Expo 86", the keyboards in this album are nearly in danger of being beat to death, but unlike that album, they're kept in check for the most part and it doesn't ruin the album entirely. The album is also short and a little flat in the back and it makes for a top heavy and uneven listen, but if it were any longer, it would probably drag.

The album is able to overcome its flaws though, making for a listen that's worthy of your time and actually a surprise to those who expected the ultimate sophomore slump if there was ever one. Tokyo Police Club have crafted an album blazing with a bigger production value and actually makes great use of it, not letting it go to waste, and at the same time, not making a watered down, more far reaching pop record then they could have made.

At this rate, Tokyo Police Club could become the new leaders of this somewhat new wave revival. An unexpected surprise, but a good one. It doesn't require careful listening, and it's not going to change the indie landscape as you see it, but damned if you can't get happy at a band with a lot of hype, wanting to live up to it and working hard for it. If that's not respectable in this current day and age in music, I don't know what is.

*** 1/2 out of *****

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