Sound — 8
I wonder when there gonna appear bands that would need five words to describe the music style? Still there are good examples of three-word bands that would take you a few minutes to realize how these different music genres can possibly sound together. Here's an example - alt punk pop. Already got an idea? If not, listen to Art Brut's new album It's A Bit Complicated. This ambitious UK quintet has been called Brit-pop's new wave and Franz Ferdinand's followers and they claims there are about 40 franchise bands. It's A Bit Complicated is the second album by Art Brut, following 2005's Bang Bang Rock and Roll. Frontman Eddie Argos claims the new record is poppier than its predecessor and it's partly true - the melodies are real pop now, but hard-hitting rock drums stayed (and thank you God!) Guitar riffs are generic three-chords and often predictable. A few solos on the whole album are three-notes and two-strings diverse. It all reminds you of 90s greatest hits compilation as the songs recalls to your memories too often - take heavier tracks like Nag Nag Nag Nag that are obviously influenced by Pulp. If you get deeper in the album, you'll find it more amusing - say, the song names, three of which match with famous hits of the past century. In I Will Survive Argos says 'I don't know what I'm doing but it's feeling like success and that pretty much describes the whole record. It feels like most of the time he's following not some planned formula of music, but just clear emotions.
Lyrics — 9
Eddie Argos is telling you a new story in every next song, so it turns it's more like music is a background to lyrics here. He sings about anything he sees or experiences. No wonder the first single of the band was autobiographical Formed a Band. The lyrics are plain and about obvious things. At those rare times when they are not something obvious like Late summer evening I feel like eating or You wan to sleep and I do too/ But I can't 'cause I've got something to prove, there's even something worth quoting to. My personal favorite Is it so wrong, to break from your kiss to turn up a pop song? in the opener Pump Up The Volume shows you there's a good share of humor and irony in poetry. Argos is more proclaiming a poetry, than singing but you realize that only if you pay attention to. He's doing it with such an expression and it all sounds so organic with music that feels like nothing else could fit better here. Perhaps that is due to the Beach Boys-style back vocals that add a certain fun to the sound.
Overall Impression — 8
It's a Bit Complicated is not gonna make a revolution in your heart. Neither it is gonna make Israel and Palestine get along as they guys promised back in 2004's Formed a Band. This is quite a good CD, but nothing extraordinary and the things get quite boring after a few listens. Another thing - there's not a single track that stands out, all the tracks are equally good and, sadly enough, don't go anywhere. The songs are simple in general - both in sound and lyrics. It might even sound primitive at times, but showcasing the professionalism in playing guitar or drums is not the point here. It's all so nicely put together that you it doesn't feel like something is missing.