Album Review: Kodaline, "Perfect World"

Music Festivals – that’s where the great herd of modernity is given its soul, between the shit, mud, and overpriced beer and peanuts.

And on that "Holy Day," when the office girls, baristas, and shelf stackers realize their connectivity to the great, nebulous 'Other,' the sacred ritual of the glo-sticks is enacted, with the chunky-thighed priestesses hoisted aloft on the necks of their beta male acolytes...

And in that moment, the keening anthemic song rings out across the forest of heads, emerging almost miraculously from a non-descript-looking set of young men, humbly -- even deferentially -- strumming the tools of their trade.

For the next few years one of those groups is likely to be KODALINE, and one of the anthems will likely be One Day or something else by the 
indie rock-poppers from Dublin

The trick Kodaline has mastered -- like COLDPLAY, TRAVIS, SNOW PATROL and countless other bands from the Zeroes before them -- is taking the small, stretched, everyday emotions of front man Steve Garrigan and "stonking them up" with a range of ascending and "breathless" musical gear changes. 

Likewise, on High Hopes, the song starts with Garrigan's bruised voice, sparsely accompanied. Then jangly guitars, tremulous piano, echoey drums, and throbbing bass kick in to turbocharge the tremulous vocal. 

It's a good trick and it has its moments, but the drawback is that, over the length of an album, the "over-emotive singer and his musical catharses thingee," can, like the girl on the shoulders start to feel increasingly burdensome without increasing in weight.

(Reviewed while flying over the Himalayas)

Colin Liddell
Revenge of Riff Raff
25th February, 2014

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