Saturday, 14 July 2012

REVIEW: The View - Cheeky For A Reason - listen

There was a time a few years ago when bands like The View could expect hit singles and big-selling albums. But following the bursting of that mid 2000's indie-pop bubble, every album they have made since their debut has had less of an impact every time, contributing towards something of a career decline. Their fourth album comes quickly after last year's rather catchy 'Bread And Circuses', perhaps suggesting they want to release as many records as possible before they are forgotten completely. 

Unfortunately for The View, the awfully titled 'Cheeky For A Reason' isn't as infectious as the previous album, although admittedly there isn't anything bad at all about any of the songs here. Opener 'How Long' is the band close to their best, full of lively pop hooks and an enjoyable chorus, something that 'AB (We Need Treatment)' also matches with its straight-forward breezy melodies. 'Hold On Now' is a bit like Britpop-era Blur meeting The Monkees, 'Bullet' pairs some nice guitars with a crisp disco beat, and 'Bunker' is not too far away from a more introspective take on Iron Maiden's 'Run To The Hills'. But all of it still sounds typically like The View, making nonsense of singer Kyle Falconer's claim that this record would be "Fleetwood Mac covered by The Clash". However album highlight 'The Clock' does bear hints of the Mac's 'Rhiannon' as well as shades of The Smiths, proving that they do well when they take a walk into slightly darker territory. 

'Hole In The Bed' is also another one of the record's best moments, a little bit grubbier and naughtier than most of the other tracks here, and sounding like The Libertines sung in a Scottish accent. The eventual grower 'Sour Little Sweetie' and 'Lean On My World' with its U2-esque guitar work are good examples of producer 's crisp production, bringing a more spacious feel to the instrumentation than that of the previous album. The closing 'Tacky Tattoo' is minimal gospel soul with sad yet uplifting organ, but also dodgy lyrics during the chorus that let it down. 

The two Japan-only bonus tracks are OK too, 'Standing, Waiting On My Own' easily better than much of the actual album, acoustic and slightly Beatles-esque pop routed through Primal Scream's 'I'm Losing More Than I'll Ever Have'. This album doesn't sound like it's trying too hard to be memorable, and sometimes that's a good thing. However it does mean that all these songs are going to need quite a few plays before they make much of an impression. Hardly original or essential, but certainly listenable and good fun too. 6.5

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