Sound — 6
Indie rock group Never Shout Never first started playing the Joplin, Missouri music scene back in 2007. The band's signature sound, which combines light acoustic guitar playing with reaching lead vocals and heavy percussion playing, quickly began to appeal to followers of the genre; so much that when Never Shout Never released their debut album "What Is Love?" in 2010 it quickly climbed up the Billboard 200 Charts. Since their debut, the band has been continuously releasing music, with a now total of five studio albums and nine EPs in their catalogue, always staying true to their original style.
Never Shout Never are planning to continue this trend, with the release of their new record "Sunflower." From a musical standpoint the band delivers a collection of songs that fans probably would have expected them to sound like, and more often than not treading the same path already taken with their earlier hits. One of the examples that instantly comes to mind is the track "Aeroplane," which begins with nothing but a quiet acoustic guitar riff before adding colorful vocal melodies and drum work. Although the song as a whole isn't bad, anyone even slightly familiar with the group's earlier outings can hear the significant resemblance to Never Shout Never's song "California," which as far as the song structure goes is a complete clone.
Throughout the rest of the album, Never Shout Never still give an enjoyable performance, but you end up with the impression that the band could have been much more creative with their songwriting.
Lyrics — 5
Lead vocalist Christopher Drew Ingle does a noteworthy job of providing the majority of vocal harmonies throughout this new album. His vocal range mostly consists between a regular speaking tone to a moderately high pitch, which makes for some bright harmonies. However I would had liked Christopher to try and do something new with his lyrical execution, because after a while maintaining in your same pitch while backed by familiar guitar chords and quiet percussion work throughout thirteen songs, it all begins to blend together at a point and it's no longer an enjoyable listening experience.
Overall Impression — 5
With "Sunflower," Never Shout Never go back and revisit the same style that popularized their earlier efforts, with a number of their new compositions coming across as cheap knockoffs of their previous hits. There is a way to make new music, take on different musical genres and styles while also adding your own personality and influence into the music. But unfortunately Never Shout Never fail to do so with their new album, and they leave far too much to be desired.