Released March 16th
The Veronicas are perhaps best known for their international hit ‘Untouched’ from 2007, however since then they have largely stayed out of the spotlight. Their sudden success was followed by label drama, culminating with their departure from Warner Bros. Records, which explains this album’s massive delay after work was first begun on it in 2010. The album’s eponymous title certainly seems to suggest an attempt by the band to assert who they really are as a group after such a long time away – unfortunately it’s an attempt which becomes scrambled, and the album feels at times like it sacrifices cohesion for an attempt to pull in a variety of different directions.
It doesn’t help that the album gets off to a bit of a shaky start – the country-tinged opening track, ‘Sanctified’, drags on repetitively and fails to grab the listener’s attention, whilst track 2, ‘I’m a Veronica (Did You Miss Me?)’, features a toe-curlingly cringey rap set against a backdrop of synths that wouldn’t sound out of place at Eurovision – take this as you will. However just before you think all hope for this album is lost, you get ‘Cruel’, which, with its catchy opening hook, ushers in a string of fun, feel-good pop songs. It’s this kind of song which forms the backbone of the album, and the ability to consistently write decent songs is commendable, but with a 14 item tracklisting, after a while the album begins to feel a bit aimless, and you do wonder whether all of these tracks were really necessary. This certainly isn’t an album you have to struggle to get through due to lack of engaging material, but when roughly half the album all blurs into a swamp of shiny pop, and starts feeling a bit samey and nondescript, it detracts from the overall experience.
That said, there are some tracks that undeniably stand out – last year’s fist pumping single ‘If You Love Someone’, with its well-intentioned inspirational lyrics, is a highlight, as is the Katy Perry-esque ‘Teenage Millionaire’ and ‘Always’, a track co-written by Emeli Sandé, which is unique in its soulful, gospel influenced style.
Overall, if you’re after an album with some light hearted pop to soundtrack the fun times in life, you can do far worse than to give this one a spin – although beware of tracks 2, 8 and 12 for dodgy rapping.
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