Album Review: Good Shoes – No Hope, No Future

By on Wednesday, 6th January 2010 at 12:00 pm

A few weeks ago, you may have caught my review of London band Good Shoes‘s single ‘Under Control’. When I listened to that infectious single I couldn’t wait for the album. Now that I have it, I have to confess I’m a bit disappointed. It’s not that the album isn’t good, not at all — I just can’t help feeling like it could have been so much more.

The album starts out well with the frenetically paced, high-energy ‘The Way My Heart Beats,’ but the momentum created by it is lost by their strange choice to put their slowest song, ‘Everything You Do’ right after it. This is probably my least favorite song on the album, mostly because it doesn’t showcase the things Good Shoes is best at: energy and rhythm. Luckily, they seem to realize this and they pick things up again with ‘I Know,’ one of the highlights of the album. It combines a great guitar riff with a steady drumbeat and some of their most political lyrics: “You should learn to protest and learn to question everything you’re told / I think if there’s a day of judgement then our leaders will be first against the wall.”

Next up is stellar single ‘Under Control,’ which they follow with two of their best songs, ‘Do You Remember’ and ‘Our Loving Mother in a Pink Diamond.’ This part of the album is where they really get into the groove: the songs are intricate and fun. The next few songs are perfectly fine, but don’t have that extra spark. They’re all variations on the same theme: how things used to be so much better, and now there’s ‘No Hope, No Future’.

They save my personal favorite for last. ‘City by the Sea’ is a slower, more melodic song. It’s like the cool-down track after the workout they give you with the rest of the album. Where this track really stands out for me is in its lyrics. While the strength of most Good Shoes songs is in the music and not the lyrics, this track verges on the poetic: “All I want is a little more time to feel your heartbeat next to mine”.

In all, ‘No Hope, No Future’ doesn’t quite live up to the band’s potential. The album has its moments of genius, but these mainly come when they don’t try so hard. They really shine when they let themselves stray from their formula of disillusioned lyrics over a driving beat and intricate guitars. That said, if you’re just looking for a fun, energetic album to listen to, but don’t need anything game-changing, then this is the album for you.

‘No Hope, No Future’ will be released on 25th January on Brille Records.

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2 Responses

9:19 pm
8th January 2010

Mary Beth,

This review has a rhythm all it’s own! Very helpful. ~Tybe

2:27 am
9th September 2010

This review has a rhythm all it’s own! Very helpful.

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