I was very worried about the not-so-stellar solo performance of Lauri Ylönen produced in his 2011 solo album New World. This sounded like some kind of a bad to worse development of former terrors, along the line of what we saw happening in The Rasmus last record. But – to our good fortune – this did not happen in this new record. Which is a big relief.
OK, it is now a given, folks! Their style is fully anchored in Pop Rock. But there’s nothing bad about that. If you do not like their style, don’t bitch about it, just stop listening to it. At least they got rid of (most of) the obnoxious Disco elements that almost killed me in their last Edition of Wonders of the World.
The 8th and so far latest album of The Rasmus (in their own name) is probably one of their best produced and executed records. Mind you: Not the best, but the best produced. And very neatly done (again) and engineered, it shows that they put a lot of effort behind the different tracks.
The tracks are of course all of the same vein, but in fact no song is really the same and the band clearly put a lot of effort into this production.
Methinks that there is nevertheless some influence of Lauri Ylönen‘s solo work as well, yet still remaining true to the typical style of The Rasmus. A more electronic version of the same, I mean. And their music has a much more authentic The Rasmus look and feel to it in this album than in the last that appeared to be heavily influenced by Desmond Child. And good riddance! Music in American Army Rations, cookie cutter style, kind of an uniform taste to please the puritans. Ah, sorry, the purists, and this really is not my thing.
And it really shows!
If you get a different producer with some rough edges, who does not mind colliding with one or two stakeholders at some time. THEN you get results and some oomph into the tune. The proof is this record – not the most energetic of all things they did so far. But it is remarkably more refreshing and energy laden than the one before.
So, then, what’s in this mixed bag of goodies?
Well, this is very much an ‘It Depends’ record. The band took great care to structure each song slightly differently. In fact, a good portion of the production sounds like some old Foreigner vinyl with a Nordic spin and gloominess. Then the rest is a bit rockier, but nowhere near what they did in Dead Letters or Black Roses.
Stranger and It’s your Night are the most remarkable tracks – good, old Pop .. Rock. And I don’t say this lightly. If anything, the lyrics greatly improved, whereas the tune lost a lot of its heaviness. In lieu of popsicles and stuff.
End of a Story is intriguing in some kind of gloomy way. And I am really not sure if I do not want to be depressed when listening to the lyrics. The story sounds dangerously familiar, doesn’t it?
Someone’s gonna Light you Up brings a rockier taste to this menu, reminiscent to former tracks on earlier albums. One of my favorites. The soft ballad Sky at the very end is – well – the bitter end of things. Not getting off the ground and having a strong smell of something I have already heard somewhere else.
But in the end, all that jazz – ah, pop I wanna say – kind of blends into a similar amalgam of plastic synthesizer style porridge, containing very little in hard edges at all. By and large not bad, although not stellar neither. Something you consume, but then have no real recollection of what it was.
And let’s hope that they will come back one day and get themselves to rockier shores without the ’80s style of electronic warfare that they currently indulge in.