After listening to The Sounds for the last couple of years, it was exciting to see their new release in my mailbox.
Two singles have already been released off Something to Die For with mixed reviews. Some too alienated by the strong new infusion of electro-pop, some elated by the progression of their sound. I feel more in line with the latter; it is my job to be very open minded to all that comes across my desk, and that can help and hurt at times. Several artists have recently come out with new albums that are a departure or perhaps evolution of their existing sound. When bands do this, it causes a few things to happen: they can broaden their existing fan base by appealing to a different genre or they can alienate otherwise devoted fans. Always a danger when a band releases more than one album… how dare they?
Several songs, such as the album opener “It’s So Easy” or “Better Off Dead” which was released at the beginning of February, have a much stronger electronic sound to them than some of The Sounds of the past. Then you move onto something like “Diana” which is more reminiscent of what The Sounds have come to be known for. The combination of lyrics with a hardened edge with the upbeat, energetic melodies should make most alternative fans fall in love with them immediately. It is the kind of music you listen to on a sunny day to feel that much more full of life, frisky even, or on a dreary day to get yourself out of that funk.
Every band needs to experiment with a little change from time to time and The Sounds have certainly done so themselves with Something to Die For. I appreciate their efforts to broaden their sound, all bands need an album like this and I am sure the response they get will strongly shape the music they write in the future. Surely they will alienate plenty of fans with this latest addition to their catalog but they will also find some new fans out there that haven’t been paying attention in the past. Some will criticize the increased level of pop that seems to have influenced this album, but it should be given a chance, regardless of first impressions. It sucks you in.