Album Review: Annuals / Such Fun

By on Friday, 31st October 2008 at 9:31 pm

This post appeared originally on the brilliant Four Oh Five, and is one in our continuing series of guest blogs from their capable team of authors.

Its exam time, and I’ve been looking for any reason to procrastinate. Normally this involves a lot of unnecessary movie watching, video game playing, and cleaning and tidying. This semester it has also involved a lot of unnecessary listening to ‘Such Fun’ by Annuals.

It’s not that ‘Such Fun’ is a bad album; it’s just not a particularly interesting one. On first listen it sounds like the sort of album that requires a bit of attention to understand, however after many listens it’s clear that this isn’t the case. The songs are well-written and thought out, most often making use of multiple layers of melody, percussion and harmonies to build up to what should be an emotive crescendo. But despite this, most songs here feel hollow and calculated. While there may be instrumental depth, the music doesn’t convey any tangible sentiment significant enough to sink your teeth into. ‘Such Fun’ sounds like indie music by numbers.

The music isn’t done a disservice by the vocals, either. On tracks like ‘Down the Mountain’ and first single ‘Confessor’, singer Adam Baker eloquently espouses disenchantment and hopelessness that should contrast well with the upbeat musical backing. And while it’s true that the album doesn’t make any attempt to fit within genre boundaries, this isn’t its main fault either. ‘Such Fun’ just sounds polished to the point of meaninglessness. Listening to it, you constantly feel like it should be a good album, that you must be missing something. But despite its complex big-band sound and strong lyricism, ‘Such Fun’ left me feeling somewhat cold, and somewhat confused.

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