Cool Like You, part 2: Sequels are always disappointing.
Stockport retro-synth-rock outfit Blossoms are back with their third full-length release, only four years on from their 2016 debut. Sounding more like a continuation than a development of the band's sound, it feels fair to approach this year's Foolish Loving Spaces as a sequel of sorts to Blossoms' previous record Cool Like You (2018) - returning to the band's implementation of ABBA-esque keys and drum combinations.
Unfortunately however, the group's newest record is entirely underwhelming, and quite unremarkable. Frontman Tom Ogden, normally so impressive in his lyrical talents is instead quite pedestrian for a great deal of this newest project. Gone are the literary allusions to T.S. Eliot and transparent honesty that shone through so brightly on previous efforts, replaced with dull and unimaginative lyricism. Besides the rare shining moments of 'Your Girlfriend', 'Romance, Eh?' and 'Like Gravity', I cannot recommend this album at all.
The project often feels slow and lethargic, missing any of the driving momentum heard on Cool Like You's 'Unfaithful' or Self-titled's 'Charlemagne'. It is boring, the performances are underwhelming and it is forgettable. Clocking in at a lightning 35 minute (or so) album length, the speed to which this album rifles through mediocre songwriting reeks of desperation, resulting in an album that sounds quite remarkably like Cool Like You b-side material.
I am as critical of this album as much as I am a fan of this band. I love Blossoms, but I do not love *this* Blossoms. This is not a good album, and it is barely rescued from being a 'bad album' by three songs of comparative quality. I have very little more to say beyond advising you to save your time from being wasted on unimaginative songwriting and dull tunes. Listen to those three good songs and forget about the disappointments of 'Falling For Someone', 'Oh No (I Think I'm In Love)', 'My Vacant Days' and 'The Keeper'.
Three songs worth listening to. Seven worth ignoring. Hopefully you like it more than I did.
- 4.0 -
Ben Wheadon is editor and founder of Slow Motion Panic Masters. He is a Welsh musician and English Literature student at King's College, London and he should be writing a dissertation instead of creating a blog.
Thanks for reading! Slow Motion Panic Masters is a music, arts and culture blog created and edited by Ben Wheadon, a literature student and musician based in London, England.