Sound — 9
Australian outfit The Temper Trap's debut LP 'Conditions', plays host to an array of sporadically exuberent tracks built upon backdrops of atmospheric guitars and outkast yet scintillating vocals. The Melbourne band ploughed through an assortment of producers and studios before finally settling on a fitting environment to record what may be seen as one of the defining records of the early 21st century. Violins, trumpets, flugalhorns and swirling guitars prosper throughout the CD, with frontman Mundagi's powerful vocals placing a surreal enchantment to a group of enscapulating melodies; providing a breath of fresh air on the otherwise indie-imitated music scene of the moment. Persisting it's novelty throughout, the band experiments with liberating sounds of all kinds; most notably on the swivering 'Rest' and the haunting ode 'Soldier On'.
Lyrics — 8
The Temper Trap's A. Mundagi seems to corroberate lyrics that blend into the surreal landscape of the music; rather than trying to create fully conventional stories out of the ultimate journey that is the album; a journey of experimental freedom combined with stories designed to beckon their own meaning to anyone that listens to them. The vocalists skills are persuadingly unique and powerful from the beginning, even from the entrance claps of 'Love Lost'. Mundagi's vocals sound cosmic on 'Sweet Disposition', foreign on 'Rest', tantalisingly sweet on 'Down River', haunting on 'Soldier On' and with brilliant melodic confidence on 'Fader'. Although the album's lyrics do not always bear their clear meaning, it's connection with the music duly overrides this perception, ultimately providing a full sound of the vocals and instuments as one. This compliance greatly favours the album's surreal sound in its capacity to perhaps appeal to any language from any walk of life; having comparisions to such accomplished artists as Enya. Each tune manages to forge it's own meaning to the listener, creating an imaginary landscape of clear thought and liberty.
Overall Impression — 9
It can be difficult to find another artist that shares notable similarities to The Temper Trap; which in turn falls into the band's favour of compromising uniqueness. A mix of Radiohead's deepness, U2's pearling guitars, Coldplay's structure and Enya's vocals set to a more rock and roll vibe seems to be the best description of the band as they stand. Despite all of the praise I have piled onto the band thus far, the album is not without its flaws. Some of the songs like 'Sweet Disposition' and 'Fools' seem overproduced, whilst most of the songs in the tracklisting bear a very similar and reccuring sound to each other; having minimal variety between the songs despite the use of diligent and exotic instruments. The powerful lead single 'Sweet Disposition' is a bold standout, 'Love Lost' offers a catchy iniation, whilst ballads like 'Down River' and 'Soldier On' capture a quissentially sweet and imploring image in showcasing the singer's vocal talents. The album's standout is none other than the potentially huge 'Fader'; a catchy and atmospheric feel good tune set to a pulsating beat of hefty percussion and fever-whipping guitars. The album's closer 'Drum Song' is perhaps a novelty number of Crazy Frog like tones combined with a riveting drum beat; as suggested by the song's title. Overall, The Temper Trap have created an outstanding impression on the music industry with their debut LP, and with tunes to last the ages, we have definitely not seen the end of this inspiring group.