THE LONG BLONDES > Couples

On their sophomore effort, the Long Blondes offer Couples, a concept album that examines relationships from different perspectives lyrically, and experiments with multiple genres sonically. Label: ROUGH TRADE
[RATING: 2.5]

On their sophomore effort, the Long Blondes offer Couples, a concept album that examines relationships from different perspectives lyrically, and experiments with multiple genres sonically. Lyrically on “Guilt,” an off-the-market woman repeatedly rebuffs a suitor, but gives the impression that it’s not infidelity that’s undoable, just the dude. “Couples” reverses viewpoints: a lonely character mopes like Morrissey when he said, “Two lovers entwined, pass me by-and heaven knows I’m miserable now” only Kate Jackson croons less painstakingly. Musically on single “Century,” an ominous organ-intro portends Blondie’s “Rapture” but releases a half-funky, mediocre dance riff. Switching to kraut-rock ala Bauhaus, the band gets über-serious on “Around the Hairpin;” almost laughably so. However “Too Clever by Half” removes influence from its sleeve, and a patient Jackson coos and croons commendably. The oft-clever lyrics on Couples imply that relationship conundrums have trapped The Long Blondes in a quarter-life crisis, which they superficially remedy via a genre-shopping spree.


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