Happy Spring everyone! At least here, it feels like it has finally arrived…actually it has skipped to summer and we have 90 degree heat, but whatever. There’s something very seasonal about music, and I’m looking forward to what spring and summer will bring this year. But more on that later. Right now, I’m listening to an album that came out in October. I know, I know, a little late, but to be fair, The Temper Trap makes beautiful music and they deserve a good review. Also to be fair, I don’t know that I am often on time. You should be used to it by now. This review was supposed to be finished last week before I went to Florida…oops.
Anyone who is up on Australia’s latest big talents, Diet Coke commercials, or the 500 Days of Summer soundtrack will recognize the hypnotic, electric “Sweet Disposition”. My husband has been listening to this track on repeat for awhile now, and it’s about time we check out the album Conditions as a whole. The craftsmen of this lovely track are Australia’s indie pride, The Temper Trap, loosely termed as an alternative indie rock band among the ranks of Bloc Party, MGMT, or even (well, I don’t know) the Gorillaz. Whatever, I like the Gorillaz.
If you pop in Conditions expecting to find 9 more versions of “Sweet Disposition,” I can’t promise that you’ll find what you’re looking for. Sure, most tracks share the same moody electricity and soaring vocals…Dougie Mandagi possesses an incredible range and sweeeeeet falsetto (the opposite of Andy Bernard, Office fans). Somehow, though, each track surprises me–I didn’t expect the bizarre paradox of awesome album structure as a whole–really, everything fits!– and such difference in song style. Tracks like “Love Lost” and “Resurrection” mix 70’s funk with modern layers, guitar riffs, and builds. I hear classic rock influences in “Fader” and “Science of Fear,” and maybe some Brit-rock influence in “Down River.” “Soldier On,” like “Sweet Disposition” sets itself apart from the rest of the album, but because of its more haunting, acoustic sound, which doesn’t phase into the Temper Trap’s classic layered, harmonic sound until the very end. Lyrically, I have less of an idea of what’s going on. Maybe I’m spacey or just stupid, but I think Conditions is a nice thinking album, and I’ve been satisfied to do just that while I listen, rather than picking for all the lyrics. Sorry. I know they are there for a reason! Anyway, overall, this album is completely worth a purchase for reasons other than the lovely “Sweet Disposition.” I’m really most impressed that I can use the phrase “the Temper Trap’s classic sound.” I do believe that they’ve done a spectacular job introducing themselves with Conditions, giving us an idea of all they have to offer, and a creating a sound that is indeed their very own, no imitation. We’re ready for more!