Today Is Tonight - The Changes Album Review
This album review is late. This is in fact the first promo disc I was sent by Allgigs, but my fourth review. This isnt down to some kind of Twilight Zone mystery the blame falls squarely at the incompetent feet of Royal Mail, who punished me for the promo being 6p under the postage with a month-long delay and a 1 administration charge. Under normal circumstances, I might have held out on the ransom, but I was worried theyd start sending torn bits of the artwork in the post (I suspect without irony) until their demands were met, so I coughed up the exorbitant surcharge.
And boy am I glad I did, because Gosh-darn-it, The Changes have only gone and made the best album Ive heard since I resumed music reviewing. It glides effortlessly between genres like some kind of musical chameleon (not of the karma variety) from the jangly indie-pop of When I wake to the chill out piano-y vibe of Sisters to the disco-tinged backing of Twilight The Changes sound diverse, yet with a defining unity which never makes you feel like youre listening to a variety of bands on a mixtape. This is, I think, down to the gentle highly produced vocals from Dave Rothblatt that wash across all the tracks on the album and the jangly guitar which (when present) is a style theyve adopted as their own for the 45 minutes of the album anyway.
And at 45 minutes it never feels like its outstayed its welcome. It prompts an is that it? response like no album has since The Strokes compact debut release and I mean that in a good way. For once, I found myself clamouring for a hidden track but in the event, its just as effective a response to restart the album and admire the diversity. This is a pretty astonishing feat for a debut album especially one with so little fanfare and promotion as this one has had. Lesser (but more hyped) acts would have resorted to using filler tracks, but I can honestly say theres not a track on the album that grated, just some great songs and some good songs.
So on what possible grounds have I decided against giving this the full five stars? The press release was written in Comic Sans MS font. No, thats not a good enough reason: well, its partly because none of the songs, diverse as they are, are completely unfamiliar to me as an aural experience, and partly down to the more vague reason that Im holding that first five star review for an album that changes the way I listen to music. Its a pipe-dream, and it may never happen but thats what Im holding out for, and its a bit harsh on The Changes that they lose half a star as a result, but I wouldnt be a music reviewer if I didnt make some incomprehensible decisions that die-hard fans can mail me complaints about.
You should pay that no heed though this is as close to a five star as makes no difference. Go and buy this album now.
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