Sound — 8
After 2006's breakthrough with 'Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager', Get Cape's Sam Duckworth has laid solid foundations upon which to let his tousled hair down. Acoustic electronica. Folk rock. Indie dance. Whatever you want to call it, there is no denying Get Cape's individuality which, depending on how you look at it, fortunately or unfortunately set's him apart from the big acoustic hitters. Second time round with 'Searching For The How's and Why's', Duckworth has maintained his bouncy beats and raucous roars on stand out opening track 'Let the Journey Begin', but the beats get filtered out throughout in favour of horns, drums and orchestral backing. This suits Get Cape's musical growth, without alienating old fans by keeping the guitar melodic, tricky and consistent throughout 'Postcards of Catalunya', 'Moving Forward' and first single 'Find the Time'. Kate Nash's cameo on 'Better Things' is a nice touch, if not perceived as an indie love-in, and just about gets away with sounding original rather than cringe worthy. 'Young and Lovestruck' has the potential to be ones of the hits of the summer, from it's opening bars of piano through a snappy, melodic verse oozing top-down-car-on-a-long-drive sing-along material and erupting into the catchiest of choruses punctuated by Duckworth's breathtakingly relentless ability to abuse his throat finding those top notes.
Lyrics — 7
Vocally, I feel 'Searching' is superior to 'Chronicles'. Duckworth shows off an impressive range; comfortable and easy listening at talking levels, the booming roar of his chest voice and now featuring some nifty vocal control on some of the softer songs. 'Moving Forward' and the deftly delicate 'Postcards from Catalunya' are some of the softer songs in question, and also show a tender, more personal side to Sam's song writing. The lyrics stay simple, 'We talked for hours, and nothing made much sense. I'm sick and tired, of sitting on the fence' but feel heartfelt and most importantly, make Sam appear his age. After all, he is still only 22, but his lyrics sometimes show a desire for maturity that cannot be found due to the worldly targets of his verbal backlashes. Now this isn't a criticism, more a sign of someone growing as a musician, and broadening ones horizons. However when we reach 'The Children are (the consumers of) the future' and 'I Could Build You a Tower' his horizons seems to have broaden a bit too far, and become preoccupied with trying to solve all of the world problems inside fourteen songs. Just cheer up a bit Sam, and remember you're a singer not a preacher.
Overall Impression — 8
Due to Get Cape being out of the mainstream, and the acoustic clique with people like Damien Rice, Ray Lamontagne and David Gray, he easily creates his own genre and is difficult to compare. Yet I feel think is a huge weapon in his arsenal, and another huge thing that sets him apart from all these artists is his age. As I said before, Duckworth is a tender 22 and needs to focus on the little issues rather than the big, and keep making great catchy music that stand up musically against the big boys. Even younger artists like John Mayer or Bright Eyes are vastly different, and Get Cape need to remember this and plug away being good at what they know best. 'Young and Lovestruck' needs to hit radio's fast, and as long as Sam stops Searching for the How's and Why's and concentrates on the Hear's and Now's, he can throw his cape on and fly to wherever he wants.