If, when listening to The Other Side, by Lisbon indie pop trio Mr. Pleasant you find yourself becoming a bit nostalgic for the brit-pop rock n’ roll of bands like Travis and Oasis then Mr. Pleasant has done their job. But part of that reason may also be that The Other Side was recorded back in 2006 and then shelved. For whatever reason the bands principal songwriter Luis, decided to upload the album to Bandcamp.
As legend has it songwriter Luis approached his friend Hugo one day and asked him to help record some songs that he’d had from his twenty-plus years as a closeted songwriter. Hugo agreed and employed a former band mate and drummer Rui to record and program the drums and enlisted a longtime friend and collaborator named Cristina to take on vocal duties.
The Other Side opens with “Fulfill Me” which along with its straight up pop rock feel also hints at eighties new wave. Singer Christina’s deep vocals are reminiscent of The Pretenders Chrissie Hynde. Next “In Disguise” has a melody and drum track that sounds achingly familiar to The Smiths “Panic.”
If this is coincidence than it is beautifully so, although if Luis has been writing songs for twenty some years, especially in the vein of brit pop, it seems highly unlikely that The Smiths would not be all over his radar. They shift into a bluesier and slightly harder-edged style of rock for “This is You” and then return to the poppier side of things on the piano driven “The Story of Five” and then close with the nostalgia-soaked acoustic ballad “Eternity.”
After a few listens to The Other Side it’s hard to figure out why the album was never originally released. Though with that being said they perhaps sound more relevant today than they would have ten years ago. Ten years ago they would have gotten lost in the shuffle, whereas today they have that throwback sound that so many newer bands work so hard to perfect.
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