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  • Writer's pictureJO'B

London Grammar - Californian Soil

London Grammar have been going since 2009, but slowly developing at their own pace. This is their third album in 12 years, having gradually progressing their lush sound from trip hop/indie pop to something bigger, brasher and even more beautiful. Along the way, they've won Ivor Novellos, and have out Machined Florence. Hannah Reid has a better voice, but there is a lot less of the mad dancing and pseudo Kate Bushisms...

Operatic vocals, soaring strings, this is their most upbeat album to date, though it still tackles tough subject matter. America tackles the failure of the American Dream ("All of our time chasing a dream, A dream that meant nothing to me"). It's stripped back, but like the rest off the album, still huge. Title track Californian Soil addresses the sexism Hannah has faced through her career ("And they will keep on trying it on/And I never felt the same”).

Lose Your Head and How Does it Feel? are banging tunes, both in the Everything But The Girl's Missing vein. They even have their own track, Missing, which is trip-hop-tastic.

The album is lush, sumptuous and widescreen. But it's all a bit samey. It's perfect dinner party music, which is not a criticism, though I am sure they would think it was. It just needs a bit more variety...


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