Cherry Red Records (label)
04 August 2014 (released)
22 August 2014
Dublin band Picture House certainly sound as if they are having good time on this album. It’s rammed full of melody, harmony and general good summery vibes. For the listener it may be another story.
The album opener Some Night She Will Be Mine does sets the tone for much of the record. It’s oddly reminiscent of Genesis’s sound when they were filling stadiums during the latter part of their career. Lead singer Dave Browne does have something of Phil Collins about him but it’s the more the effervescent pop of the music that drives it.
There’s a darker element, probably more twilight, with Something Worth Saying and Rules of Science, to balance the bounciness. The story behind Papers in the Park is more interesting than the execution coming off as rather lame stab at soul, and the ballad We Could be Stars builds to an anti-climax, and sounds half-finished. They do manage to evoke genuine emotion on the piano led Only Ourselves That Can Save Us. Closing the album is Our Inner Voices which could have been a Eurovision winner had been entered in the 1990s.
The production has been spruced up for the UK release and maybe they should have left it alone. Whatever it may have sounded like before it now has a cloying, stickiness about it that does not make for pleasant listening. But that sugar rush is to do with the songs themselves which are overloaded the aforementioned harmonies and melodies, when they should have been pared down. The live bonus tracks give a hint at what they could have sounded like without the bells and whistles.