Grouplove’s sophomore album,Spreading Rumours, hit stores Sept. 17. Following their 2011 success with the single “Tongue Tied” and debut album Never Trust a Happy Song, Grouplove has returned to the alternative rock scene with 13 new tracks.
Synth pop beats and careful attention to tuning give the band a new sound on this album. This new sound strays from the previous album’s rawness and innovation, which captivated listeners and brought the band out of obscurity.
“Ways to Go,” the first single released, starts slow but builds into an upbeat ear-catching anthem. The song is reminiscent of MIKA and features vocals in the style of Nate Ruess of Fun.; the best word to describe this song is bubbly. Grouplove’s new sound is exaggerated by heavy influence from studio magic. There is, however, some vocal rawness apparent in this track, which explains why it was chosen as the first single to be released.
“Borderlines and Aliens,” the album’s second single, has not yet made an appearance on any charts, but its strangeness might yet prove to be successful. The song is the most rock-like from the album and delivers a pounding drum line and strong vocals by Hannah Hooper and Christian Zucconi.
“Shark Attack” has the potential to be a summer favorite among the alternative crowd. Witty lyrics, a catchy tune and a fun guitar line make the perfect “roll your windows down and sing at the top of your lungs” song. Kettle drums, clapping, off-key piano lines and a sonar ping are some of the gems on this track.
Vocals by Hooper and Zucconi soar much the same as in the band’s previous release but are overshadowed by the instrumentation. This is unfortunate because their otherworldly voices were what helped make the magic on the first album.
As a whole, the album delivers a good effort from Grouplove. Hopefully, on the next album the band won’t rely so heavily on synthetized beats and will return to the barren rawness that made it famous.