Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Album review: THE MASTERSONS - Birds Fly South

Highlights: You Don’t Know, Crash Test, Would It Really Be A Sin?, One Word More

Candy rock stuff. Excellent songwriting covered in tasteful, delicious arrangements, all sung in sweet and gorgeous boy/girl vocals only a consummate cynic would pass up. The sort of catchy, feel-good indie pop release you will come back to again and again. If only for those soulful, irresistible 500 Days Of Summer-styled vibes…

Indeed, Birds Fly South is such a warm, summary experience. “Tell Me It’s Alright” opens with acoustic guitars and a brilliant violin line that will on their own bring your mood several inches up – but then it all comes with some prime melodic sugary rush. Rush that remains tasteful and subtle and never even verges on the ‘guilty pleasure’ level. Some of it is almost excessively infectious (“Would It Really Be A Sin?” should be all over the radio as well as the charts), some of it is more wistful and gentle (the folk-ish, slow-burning ballad “Time” has a terrific vocal melody and is a grower). What unites these songs is that they are all well-written, and after several listens I can no longer find a single song I’m not happy about. As for my favourite moments, those would be the verses of “One More Time” that are flat-out delightful in their sheer, juicy melodicism.

As far as debut albums go, The Mastersons obviously created a minor classic here. Packed with great tunes and lush instrumentation, Birds Fly South is just one indie-pop confection after another. Not twee pop, though. Candy rock.


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