Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Noah And The Whale - Last Night on Earth (2011)

It seems like a good idea to think that is time for Noah & The Whale to start pursuing different sounds, the reason is because there are a lot of bands that are getting not only dangerously close, but also are doing it just as good; the case of Mumford & Sons and their critically acclaimed debut album to set an example, and the personal sounds of indie folk that Noah & The Whale are going after were going to be awfully predictable and painfully failure if they would be hitting the same way.

This change was very much taken seriously with the third record of the band called “Last Night On Earth”, and for them the change started with the free download of “Wild Think” that was a good change for the band with the distinctive voice of Charlie Fink over ethereal synths and a very atmosphere quality of airy guitar and a little bit of electronic drumming, a really beautiful song that was pretty far from what the band was used to because this was not trying to approach some folk sound.

Everything became more evident when the lead single hit the scene “L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N”, that is a happy pop tune with pretty lyrics and a very upbeat spirit, a little bit of banjo but a distorted base. This song is a good one, the thing is that for the ones that are use to the previous work of the band it may come as a Californian sell out of the sound they had previously.

I think that the more relaxed and self aware epic sound that they were pointing previously is good, because at least they were trying to do something different, and not hang to the success of the sound and put themselves maybe like competitors against newcomers that are also doing good and probably would have done better than them in their old sound. It’s always good to have a band resign to their successful sound to conquer some new arena.

Now, the downside of the experiment is that there is never a really up point, is a very linear LP with not a single bad song and not a single good one, and not only is a good album but also the most fun that they’ve ever delivered, and I don’t know if I’m resisting to change, but I like to get my heart broken by a Noah & The Whale song every once in a while, they’re not the kind of bands you go looking for when you want to go dance on a beach in a pop scene, making songs like “Give It All Back” a real low point in the LP, the fun songs used to be really epic and now they’re just missing something, maybe is what happens when great folk musicians start exploring with electronic sounds, they get minimal and lose their epic qualities, it kind of happened with Beirut as well, but he managed to keep the same soul, which in case of Noah & The Whale they just get lost in this sort of happy and then suddenly getting dangerously close to some U2 kind of bull shit.

The old works of the band were good music, but this time around the album is catchy, and I don’t see anything wrong with being catchy, but seems like they’re approaching new markets and I fear that this catchiness could convert into making a bad record in the future, this one is not bad, at all, but is not better.


1. Life Is Life
2. Tonight's the Kind of Night
3. L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.
4. Wild Thing
5. Give it All Back
6. Just Me Before We Met
7. Paradise Stars
8. Waiting for My Chance to Come
9. The Line
10. Old Joy

Rate: 6.5/10

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