I have officially hit a milestone here at Divide & Conquer. I have the privilege of reviewing a band twice. It wasn't so long ago I reviewed Idle Revival from The Kindest People and I still have a few of those songs on my iPod. I couldn't be happier to have this talented pack thrust back into my hyper-judgmental arms for another round. The Kindest People are back with Observations From The Alternate and they have evolved in the best way for this album. Where Idle Revival was more a folkish, earthy vibe, this one is more urban and lofty with a razor sharp punk edge. They've got a chip on their shoulder for this album and I am thoroughly wooed.
The big change I noticed was that the narrative is a lot broader and thicker. The subject matter is one that is more introspective, dealing with looking at life at a collective of crossroads. There's this thread underneath everything that lands on the point that you can't take back those wrong turns. You can't know if the turns ahead are gonna be correct either. You are where you are, deal with the here and now. It's very zen, and yet they push this message with a counter culture attitude. In today's climate of finger pointing and past mistakes haunting people, I'd say being present is very counter culture. I feel I have dug very deep in while just trying to say that the lyrics are gold on this album. They're worth digging into. One thing that has remained the same is a very stylized vocal style that really shows its range.
Musically things have changed quite a bit, BIG evolution here and I am all in. They got very experimental with audio samples and electronic instrumentation. Another staple left over from the last album is an exquisite riff and chord construction. These organic elements seemed to blend so seamlessly into the wild mix of the electronic. A big thing that has changed that I have to mention is the percussion which is such a wow factor for me on this album. Lots of hand clapping and experimental drumming action brought fun and of course the urge to put on my dancing shoes. The music does a great job of conveying a vast array of human emotion, and given the subject matter, it works. They really broke out of the mold musically. They move all over the genre board. I personally would refer to this as alt-party rock. A little bit of everything with lots energy and a grounding dose of honesty.
If you can't tell, I am thrilled I get to add some more songs to my playlists. Seriously, TKP (I feel like on the second album I get to call you that because in my mind we're friends now), you've got an amazing album here! I can't tell you how cool it was to really dig in and hear how this band has changed and grown and in a good way. Check this one out. I'll put money down that you'll like it as much as I did.
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