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CD: London Grammar - Truth Is A Beautiful Thing | reviews, news & interviews

CD: London Grammar - Truth Is A Beautiful Thing

CD: London Grammar - Truth Is A Beautiful Thing

London Grammar lose their shine with that difficult second album

Truth is a beautiful but seemingly quite bland thing

It’s now four years since the release of London Grammar’s debut album If You Wait, with its sublime and sophisticated chill-out tunes, and so their sophomore effort has been a source of some anticipation for a while. Unfortunately, the wait has born scanty fruit, and Truth Is a Beautiful Thing looks undeniably beige when compared to its predecessor.

While Truth Is a Beautiful Thing maintains London Grammar’s down-tempo inclinations, it is the work of a band that have seemingly dumped many of the elements that made If You Wait really shine and instead find themselves fishing around for inspiration and trying on a fair few ill-fitting hats for size. “Rooting for You” has Hannah Reid’s husky vocals accompanied by a minimalist and atmospheric backing which betrays a hint of Joanna Law’s classic rendition of “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”, but without the raw emotion. “Oh Woman Oh Man” is a piano ballad with a looping groove and tasteful guitar that comes on like the mellow end of Florence and the Machine’s witchy shtick, with Reid’s singing of taking “the Devil by the hand through the yellow sands”. Elsewhere, however, it would seem that Coldplay have been more than a subtle influence on London Grammar during their downtime.

Delicate melodies back reverb-tinged vocals that sing lyrics that initially seem to address universal concerns but quickly lurch into vacuousness, the nadir of which comes during the trip-hoppy “Non Believer” with its repeated refrain of “All that we are / All that we need / They’re different things”. Penultimate track “Leave the War” does at least make a stab trying to liven things up a bit but it’s still all a bit too polite. In the end it’s hard to view Truth Is A Beautiful Thingas anything more than unobtrusive background music.

Coldplay seem to have been an influence on London Grammar during their downtime

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“Oh Woman Oh Man” is a piano ballad with a looping groove and tasteful guitar that comes on like the mellow end of Florence and the Machine’s witchy shtick" - would have to disagree with you there. Actually sounds more like it was influenced by Eddie Vedder's Hard Sun, which is a good thing indeed. From the tracks they've released thus far; Oh Woman Oh Man, Truth is a Beautiful Thing and Rooting For You, I'd say they're much more than unobtrusive background music, since I always stop what I'm doing just to listen to them. But hey, all reviews in general are written in a subjective manner so I'll form my own opinions once I've listened to the whole album myself.

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