Los Campesinos! – Romance Is Boring Los Campesinos! – Romance Is Boring

Los Campesinos! - Romance Is Boring

Romance Is Boring starts out well. Very well. Slow buildup? Check. Bells? Keyboard? Strings? Check. Check. Check. But then towards the middle it totally falls apart. With the weird vocal filter that springs up seemingly out of nowhere and the industrial beat in the background, the song seems to lose itself; luckily, it brings it all back together by the end. The song is almost a microcosm of the entire album: it starts off strong, but overall, it fails due to too much experimentation.

After the opener, Los Camp! wisely insert the album’s single, “There Are Listed Buildings,” which definitely would have made my “Best Singles of 2009” list, had I written one. It’s classic Los Campesinos!, from the slowly building instrumentation in the background to the quick explosions of chaos. “Romance Is Boring” foreshadows the odd direction the album takes. The harsher guitar and vocals are much more grating than anything the band has ever done and are certainly present in the middle third of the album.

Right here is when the album takes a rather unfortunate dip in quality. “We’ve Got Your Back” places the vocals over a weird synth line that’s oddly reminiscent off chiptune artist OCDJ (not someone you’d expect/want to recall on an indie pop album). The purposely sloppy guitars that pop up periodically seem like the band is trying almost too hard to be a part of the old indie pop scene. That notion just gets ridiculous, however, when “Plan A” begins. With it’s B-horror movie guitar line and vocals that rip off the Test Icicles, it’s hard to get what Los Campesinos! were going for when they recorded it. In fact, that’s really the album’s problem in its entirety. It’s a pop album lost to too much self-indulgence and experimentation. The latter part of the album brings things back into place with “I Just Sighed. I just Sighed, Just So You Know,” which (for me at least) unfortunately serves as a reminder of what you had to listen to just to get there.

While Hold On Now Youngster was a great album about teen love, awkwardness, and having fun, I’m not really sure what this album is about. It’s all over the place. It’s really unavoidable for me to think that with some of the writing present on the album, it could have been a masterpiece if they cut out quite a bit of the fat out of the middle.

1. In Medias Res
2. There Are Listed Buildings
3. Romance Is Boring
4. We’ve Got Your Back (Documented Minor Emotional Breakdown #2)
5. Plan A
6. 200-102
7. Straight in at 101
8. Who Fell Asleep In
9. I Warned You: Do Not Make an Enemy of Me
10. Heart Swells/100-1
11. I Just Sighed. I Just Sighed, Just So You Know
12. A Heat Rash in the Shape of the Show Me State; or, Letters from Me to Charlotte
13. The Sea Is a Good Place to Think of the Future
14. This Is a Flag. There Is No Wind
15. Coda: A Burn Scar in the Shape of the Sooner State

Los Campesinos! - Romance Is Boring, reviewed by Kevin on 2010-01-04T10:49:27-08:00 rating 2.9 out of 5

4 Responses about “Los Campesinos! – Romance Is Boring”

  • Charles says:

    Sigh. You’re right. You’re right. I was psyched as fuck when I realized Los Campesinos! had a new record on the horizon but this thing is just kind of empty and endless. The vocals don’t work. The lyrics are entirely too self-aware and the bombastic pep of all their output to date just sort of falls by the way of self-reference. It sounds like the could use a nap.

  • Ben says:

    Is it weird that those legs are still slightly sexy to me?

  • Kevin says:

    I’m going to say yes, considering they look to be about 14 years old…

  • Ben says:

    Let’s not get all preachy Kevin, I mean common I did qualify it with slightly.