2007's The Broken String was a triumphant record for Brooklyn's Bishop Allen, packed full of light melodies that refused to leave your conciseness and aided by some very insightful lyrics. The followup Grrr... is more of the same, but somehow fails to rekindle the amorous feeling I felt for their debut.
The Broken String was a collection of EP's released in quick succession over the course of a year which may explain it's sense of excitement and freshness and go some way to account for what is slightly lacking here. I feel tight for even raising these complaints as Grrr... is on the most part a very worthwhile listen, but too many of these songs adopt a rather sugary sweet approach to pop causing the feel-good factor that prevailed before to seem forced and unpalatable. Songs like Oklahoma and The Ancient Commonsense Of Things with their hand clap beats and brisk rhythm skip by without a care in the world but possess none of the edge of some of the previous songs and when we hear the line "imitate the action of the tiger," on Tiger, Tiger you can almost imagine an audience of children mimicking tiger moves as if Bishop Allen were chairing the school assembly that morning. Previous comparisons to song writers like Ben Folds or Eels all but vanish on this release. The very fact that I really can't think of anything else to write here is testament to the effect this record has had on me. It means no harm and probably does what it set out to do but that's really not enough these days.