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Los Campesinos!|Romance Is Boring

Romance Is Boring

Los Campesinos!

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Los Campesinos! third album, 2010’s Romance Is Boring, attempts to be an amalgamation of their first two records, blending the head-long rush of energy that was Hold on Now, Youngster with the thoughtful, somewhat morose heaviness of the difficult second album, We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed. It seems like a wise move on paper, but it doesn’t work out on the record. Romance Is Boring is an over-cooked, under-performing album that ultimately falls short of their first two efforts, and sounds like the work of a band that isn't really enjoying making records anymore. The reasons for the album's failure can be placed squarely in the lap of Tom and Gareth Campesinos!. Tom wrote the music, and while it seems energetic on the surface, it’s a hollow kind of energy that feels like the memory of energy instead of the real thing. Most of the songs either sound like second-hand versions of better songs from the previous albums, or experiments that don’t really work. Sure, it’s hard to do anything too shocking after two albums, but the lack of interesting ideas is a major let-down. With the addition of some good lyrics or melodies from Gareth, the record could probably have been saved. Alas, his words are teenage diary entries at best; shockingly bad at worst (“We need more post-coital/and less post-rock”). His need to be poetic and obscure at all costs means the songs are jammed with words that tumble and stumble out of his mouth with little regard to rhythm or the song. His shouting, off-kilter voice is annoying more often than charming on Romance too, which is a different experience from the first two records. Even Aleks’ sweetly crooned vocals aren’t enough to make the singing on the album palatable. The band also made the interesting and unfortunate decision to forgo hooks and catchy choruses, for the most part. While there are a few tracks that nearly work, the title track is the only song that really sticks because there is an actual singalong chorus with some guts behind it. Let’s save a little blame, too, for producer John Goodmanson, who takes all the elements the group jams into their songs and flattens them out sonically into a kind of monochromatic paste. It would be too optimistic to hope that the band would have ever made a record as vital and thrilling as Hold on Now, it’s just too bad that they’ve sunk to the level of bland irrelevance so quickly.
© Tim Sendra /TiVo

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Romance Is Boring

Los Campesinos!

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1
In Medias Res Explicit
00:04:42

JOHN GOODMANSON, Producer, MixingEngineer - Los Campesinos!, MainArtist - Tom Campesinos, Composer

2009 Los Campesinos! under exclusive license to Wichita Recordings Ltd 2009 Los Campesinos! under exclusive license to Wichita Recordings Ltd

2
There Are Listed Buildings
00:02:55

Tom, Composer - JOHN GOODMANSON, Producer, MixingEngineer - Los Campesinos!, MainArtist - Gareth Campesinos!, Composer

2009 Los Campesinos! under exclusive license to Wichita Recordings Ltd 2009 Los Campesinos! under exclusive license to Wichita Recordings Ltd

3
Romance Is Boring
00:02:35

JOHN GOODMANSON, Producer, MixingEngineer - Los Campesinos!, MainArtist - Tom Campesinos, Composer

2009 Los Campesinos! under exclusive license to Wichita Recordings Ltd 2009 Los Campesinos! under exclusive license to Wichita Recordings Ltd

4
We've Got Your Back Explicit
00:04:30

JOHN GOODMANSON, Producer, MixingEngineer - Los Campesinos!, MainArtist - Tom Campesinos, Composer

2009 Los Campesinos! under exclusive license to Wichita Recordings Ltd 2009 Los Campesinos! under exclusive license to Wichita Recordings Ltd

5
(Plan A)
00:01:59

JOHN GOODMANSON, Producer, MixingEngineer - Los Campesinos!, MainArtist - Tom Campesinos, Composer

2009 Los Campesinos! under exclusive license to Wichita Recordings Ltd 2009 Los Campesinos! under exclusive license to Wichita Recordings Ltd

6
200-102
00:00:54

JOHN GOODMANSON, Producer, MixingEngineer - Los Campesinos!, MainArtist - Tom Campesinos, Composer

2009 Los Campesinos! under exclusive license to Wichita Recordings Ltd 2009 Los Campesinos! under exclusive license to Wichita Recordings Ltd

7
Straight in at 101
00:03:53

JOHN GOODMANSON, Producer, MixingEngineer - Los Campesinos!, MainArtist - Tom Campesinos, Composer

2009 Los Campesinos! under exclusive license to Wichita Recordings Ltd 2009 Los Campesinos! under exclusive license to Wichita Recordings Ltd

8
Who Fell Asleep In
00:04:10

JOHN GOODMANSON, Producer, MixingEngineer - Los Campesinos!, MainArtist - Tom Campesinos, Composer

2009 Los Campesinos! under exclusive license to Wichita Recordings Ltd 2009 Los Campesinos! under exclusive license to Wichita Recordings Ltd

9
I Warned You: Do Not Make an Enemy of Me
00:02:46

JOHN GOODMANSON, Producer, MixingEngineer - Los Campesinos!, MainArtist - Tom Campesinos, Composer

2009 Los Campesinos! under exclusive license to Wichita Recordings Ltd 2009 Los Campesinos! under exclusive license to Wichita Recordings Ltd

10
Heart Swells / 100-1
00:00:46

JOHN GOODMANSON, Producer, MixingEngineer - Los Campesinos!, MainArtist - Tom Campesinos, Composer

2009 Los Campesinos! under exclusive license to Wichita Recordings Ltd 2009 Los Campesinos! under exclusive license to Wichita Recordings Ltd

11
I Just Sighed. I Just Sighed, Just So You Know
00:04:37

JOHN GOODMANSON, Producer, MixingEngineer - Los Campesinos!, MainArtist - Tom Campesinos, Composer

2009 Los Campesinos! under exclusive license to Wichita Recordings Ltd 2009 Los Campesinos! under exclusive license to Wichita Recordings Ltd

12
A Heat Rash in the Shape of the Show Me State; or, Letters from Me to Charlotte
00:03:42

JOHN GOODMANSON, Producer, MixingEngineer - Los Campesinos!, MainArtist - Tom Campesinos, Composer

2009 Los Campesinos! under exclusive license to Wichita Recordings Ltd 2009 Los Campesinos! under exclusive license to Wichita Recordings Ltd

13
The Sea Is a Good Place to Think of the Future
00:04:25

JOHN GOODMANSON, Producer, MixingEngineer - Los Campesinos!, MainArtist - Tom Campesinos, Composer

2009 Los Campesinos! under exclusive license to Wichita Recordings Ltd 2009 Los Campesinos! under exclusive license to Wichita Recordings Ltd

14
This Is a Flag. There Is No Wind Explicit
00:03:29

JOHN GOODMANSON, Producer, MixingEngineer - Los Campesinos!, MainArtist - Tom Campesinos, Composer

2009 Los Campesinos! under exclusive license to Wichita Recordings Ltd 2009 Los Campesinos! under exclusive license to Wichita Recordings Ltd

15
Coda: A Burn Scar in the Shape of the Sooner State
00:02:52

JOHN GOODMANSON, Producer, MixingEngineer - Los Campesinos!, MainArtist - Tom Campesinos, Composer

2009 Los Campesinos! under exclusive license to Wichita Recordings Ltd 2009 Los Campesinos! under exclusive license to Wichita Recordings Ltd

Resenha do Álbum

Los Campesinos! third album, 2010’s Romance Is Boring, attempts to be an amalgamation of their first two records, blending the head-long rush of energy that was Hold on Now, Youngster with the thoughtful, somewhat morose heaviness of the difficult second album, We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed. It seems like a wise move on paper, but it doesn’t work out on the record. Romance Is Boring is an over-cooked, under-performing album that ultimately falls short of their first two efforts, and sounds like the work of a band that isn't really enjoying making records anymore. The reasons for the album's failure can be placed squarely in the lap of Tom and Gareth Campesinos!. Tom wrote the music, and while it seems energetic on the surface, it’s a hollow kind of energy that feels like the memory of energy instead of the real thing. Most of the songs either sound like second-hand versions of better songs from the previous albums, or experiments that don’t really work. Sure, it’s hard to do anything too shocking after two albums, but the lack of interesting ideas is a major let-down. With the addition of some good lyrics or melodies from Gareth, the record could probably have been saved. Alas, his words are teenage diary entries at best; shockingly bad at worst (“We need more post-coital/and less post-rock”). His need to be poetic and obscure at all costs means the songs are jammed with words that tumble and stumble out of his mouth with little regard to rhythm or the song. His shouting, off-kilter voice is annoying more often than charming on Romance too, which is a different experience from the first two records. Even Aleks’ sweetly crooned vocals aren’t enough to make the singing on the album palatable. The band also made the interesting and unfortunate decision to forgo hooks and catchy choruses, for the most part. While there are a few tracks that nearly work, the title track is the only song that really sticks because there is an actual singalong chorus with some guts behind it. Let’s save a little blame, too, for producer John Goodmanson, who takes all the elements the group jams into their songs and flattens them out sonically into a kind of monochromatic paste. It would be too optimistic to hope that the band would have ever made a record as vital and thrilling as Hold on Now, it’s just too bad that they’ve sunk to the level of bland irrelevance so quickly.
© Tim Sendra /TiVo

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