Two Door Cinema Club blew up on the indie pop scene in 2010 with the release of its debut album, “Tourist History.” That album shot the Northern Ireland group to stardom do to its incredibly catchy hooks and slick production.
The group has returned with its sophomore effort “Beacon,” which starts off right where its predecessor left off. Every song off the new album sounds exactly like Two Door Cinema Club.
The problem with “Beacon” is it is essentially “Tourist History” number two. The album sounds almost exactly the same sonically, with all the songs feeling like they could have belonged on the last album.
That’s not to say “Beacon” is a carbon copy of “Tourist History.” It still has its own shining moments and little subtle differences from its predecessor, but these are so far and few in between that the album feels stagnant.
The album opens with “Next Year,” which features an aggressive synth dance pattern followed by drums, before going silent and allowing Alex Trimble to show off his vocals. It is a nice song about falling in love with someone in different circumstances.
“Sleep Alone” is the group's first single off the album. The song starts with a booming bass quarter beat and sixteenth notes on the high-hat, to create an upbeat tempo. Alex Trimble then starts to sing, “It takes more than strength to find this peace of mind.” This song is extremely reminiscent of the songs off the previous album.
“Wake Up” is the third track off the album and is quite catchy. The guitars of Trimble and Sam Halliday are screeching and crisp on the track. “It was a chance of a lifetime,” Trimble sings as he speaks to someone who missed all the good times for being asleep.
This lyric is good reflection on the state of the band. The group knows how amazing and rare its popularity is, and it definitely wants to make it last — but that is part of the problem with “Beacon.” The group seems comfortable to remain where it is, and the result is an album that is unchallenging. Whether this is a good or bad depends on whether you like the sound of Two Door Cinema Club or not.
The songs on the album do seem to encompass a bit more electronic sounds than the previous album. The biggest problem with “Beacon” is almost none of the tracks sound very distinct from one another. This results in all the songs bleeding together throughout the album.
“Beacon” is like going to see a super intense action film on the big screen, being entertained and somewhat enthralled during the showing, but then leaving and forgetting the whole thing a few days later. There just isn’t any real substance to the album keeping the listener engaged for a long time.
The lyrics on the album are a contemplation of the group’s stage in their careers as well as whom their target audience is. The lyrics revolve around the doings of young people and all that encompasses falling in love, going clubbing, staying up late and having a good time.
“Beacon” is an accessible and catchy album with a lot of good things going for it. Fans of “Tourist History” will be extremely pleased with the album, as will fans of dance pop. “Beacon” is a good album, but it just lacks the freshness and charming spark that really made the group shine on “Tourist History.”
You Might Also Like:
Bombay Bicycle Club: A Different Kind of Fix
The Northern English quartet Bombay Bicycle Club makes dreamy indie rock led by frontman Jack Steadman. “A Different Kind of Fix” is the band's third album, and saw it return to its original style after previously venturing into an almost all acoustic album on 2010’s “Flaws.” Check out “How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep” to hear the group’s distinct sound of upbeat drums and guitar amidst dreamy backing vocals.
Friendly Fires: Friendly Fires
Friendly Fires are a three-piece electronic rock group from the U.K. Its debut self-titled album features extremely fun and upbeat songs, which are danceable and get stuck in your head for days. Led by Ed MacFarlane, the group makes unapologetic, stripped down disco punk that is just plain catchy.