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Day 229: The Temper Trap – Conditions

15 Oct
Love Lost

I try to give an album a few songs before forming an opinion.  The Temper Trap’s Conditions is making that a hard thing to do tonight. Only a song and a half in, I just don’t see how this band can possibly turn things around, or make up for the pure awful that has been molesting my ears for around six minutes now.

I took a little break after writing that first paragraph, and let the album go for a little while longer.  I only ended up proving myself right.  Truth is, I could have written this entire post after only the first 30 seconds of Love Lost, the LP’s opening track.  How can anyone be expected to take a song with a central line of “our love was lost, but now we found it” seriously?  Especially when the phrase sounds like it’s coming out of a guy doing his best Prince impersonation after a few too many drinks.

As someone who has spent more than a few posts defending lyrics about love and heartache, I may be coming off as a tad hypocritical here.  You’ve gotta trust me, though, this stuff would earn a cringe from the writer of that comic about the two little naked kids with the strategically placed hair.

But believe me, it’s not just the lyrics.  If you can get past those, don’t expect a reward in the instrumentation department. One could say that The Temper Trap has a reverse Midas touch of sorts; every (indie-prefaced) genre they touch turns to bad. The indie rock songs are trite, with uninteresting chord progressions and a general aura of boring.  When the band tries to go all ’80s on us with some indie synth-pop, they fail as well, mostly because of that obnoxious voice.

Today, I am the hater.  Guess what I’m doing.