This Is This

Grouplove

Atlantic, 2021

http://www.grouplovemusic.com

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/29/2021

After Covid derailed pretty much all promotion of their last album, Healer, the members of Grouplove retreated to the South to cut some new songs during the summer of 2020. The band essentially paid for the recordings themselves as Atlantic wasn’t overly enthusiastic about them, but the label went ahead and released them. The band decided to surprise their fans with the new record and it didn’t go the way they wanted. Though I like Grouplove, this record is a bit different and the energy that’s usually one of their strongest assets isn’t all over this like I would want it to be. At nine songs and thirty-three minutes, this would have been called an EP back in the ‘90s but in this day and age it’s now a full-length.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Opening track “Primetime” is very down and kind of middling, and it’s a disappointing way to get this record started. “This Is The End” sounds like Grouplove have been evolving their sound and it sounds great, as does “Deadline,” which offers more of an electronic feel than some other tracks here and works well.

“Just What You Want” is a nice rockin’ little number and reminds the average listener how much joy this band brings to the party when they want to. You start to get worried when you come across a song like “Shake That Ass” and it feels like they were listening to too much Flaming Lips. The song doesn’t really go anywhere and drags things down a bit by being a bit too dull and flat. Closing track “Shout” is probably the album’s best. At almost six minutes, it’s a perfect way to close out the album even with the two minutes of closing filler, and it leaves you pondering what the band could possibly do next.

This is an interesting experiment for the band without any major songs to sell to radio, but it’s nice to see them sticking their necks out and trying something that might not sell to a mass audience.

Rating: B-

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