Play It Again Sam (label)
17 February 2014 (released)
22 February 2014
The Texas like guitar chimes that open The Jezabels' second album The Brink are indicative of this catchy collection of ten songs. Two years ago the band won Australia's equivalent of the Mercury Prize for their debut Prisoner, and the intention is clear on the follow-up to try and maximise the commercial possibilities. With that though comes the prospect of being described as too commercial, a line they tend to cross a little too often here.
Bringing in producer Dan Grech-Maguerat, who's worked with the likes of Hurts recently, also underlines this bid for chart or radio recognition. The Brink's bright opening is followed by the Edge-like guitars of Time To Dance, which also has elements of Coldplay with its keyboard hook. Single Look of Love sees lead singer Hayley Mary sounding a little like Kate Bush in places, a trick repeated on the excellent Angels Of Fire, which again has washes of mid-career Texas-like guitar. Superb too is No Country, which is slower and allows some time to breathe.
No track comes in at under 4 minutes, and although the album doesn't feel over long, there could be more changes of pace and style - it's a little samey. The Brink sees The Jezabels move up another gear and will win them some new admirers - but the critics may be less impressed with the route they've chosen.