Tag Archives: Los Campesinos

Day 252: Los Campesinos! – Hello Sadness

7 Nov

 By Your Hand

This particular post has been a long time in the making.  When a band earns the title of “favorite,” a fan may become a bit obsessive.  When that fan is me, this obsession can turn unhealthy.

In the past two-plus years that I’ve loved the music of Los Campesinos!, I’ve put them on quite a pedestal.  I’ve bought all of the exclusive shirts, subscribed to the failed zine, and read every single one of frontman and lyrical mastermind Gareth’s tweets.  The buzz around this album has been building for more than half a year now, and I had extremely high, and admittedly, quite unfair expectations for this record.

The first two LC! albums are among the most played in my library.  The quick pace and blindingly optimistic instrumentation meshed with melodramatic and pessimistic lyrics makes for some entertaining, brilliant, and unique music. When Romance is Boring—the band’s third record—was released early last year, I was a little surprised with the content.  Amongst the usual upbeat, glockenspiel-filled songs populated by lyrics that sound as if they were pulled from a diary, was a fair bit of artsy fuzz and static.  I kind of liked it, though; these sections were nice breaks from the usual frantic pace of a Los Campesinos! album.  If anything, I expected this fourth record to follow in that trend, maybe with an even higher focus on the abstract sections.  Instead, Hello Sadness is a record of ten radio-unready pop songs, and I’m not entirely sure what I think.  There’s no doubt that the two singles so far—the title track and By Your Hand—are solid examples of this new LC! sound—they represent the feeling cultivated throughout the album fairly well.  It’s not that this album is bad, it’s just that it’s different.  This isn’t the same band that I fell in love with, and I’m going to need to give Hello Sadness a few more listens before a decision can be made about my favorite band.