Grouplove’s fun, but forgettable album 2

By Krista DeJulio – Co-Editor-in-Chief

There are times when you just need to pop a Grouplove CD in your car and take a long drive. Grouplove’s lyrics about the beach and aliens, which are sung, and some-times shouted, are a great way to destress. Grouplove is fronted by both a male and female singer, Christian Zucconi and Hannah Hooper (who are also married and have a baby), and backed up by three other very important members. The band just released its third studio album “Big Mess” on September 9, and are currently on tour.

Grouplove is the ideal hippy-dippy band (there’s even a song with the line “I’d rather be a hippy than a hipster” on its second album). The members wear pastels, oversize clothing, have long hair, and sing obscure lyrics. The members’ looks are a pretty fair reflection of the music they make. The album opens with the alternative hit of the summer “Welcome to Your Life,” starting off slow and moving right into what listeners came for. The first line of the song is “we’re back in business,” signifying the reign of the ultimate indie-rock-synth-dance band to ever be featured on radio waves. “Welcome to Your Life” gives fans exactly what they liked on the band’s first two albums – pops and surges of music, scream-singing, joy, and, of course, a catchy chorus and hook, but overall the album is just good and does not have a lot of stand-out tracks like the band’s previous two albums do. The eighth track, “Traumatized,” is a touching song about Zucconi and Hooper becoming parents.

Although slower at times, the band still has its hyperactive and overactive moments of bliss and enjoyment. This album needs more than one listen to really find its place in your heart. You may find yourself humming along to a song, but won’t remember what song it is because the songs blend together too well. There’s always going to be a place for the explosive guitar solos and the screaming on a Grouplove album though. Fans can look forward to hearing the album when the band comes to House of Blues Boston in November.

2 comments

  1. From Fairfield University:

    Album Spoiler: ‘Big Mess’ by Grouplove
    Brendan Zimmerman September 21, 2016
    In an explosion of colorful indie-pop, alternative band Grouplove has unveiled their latest album, titled “Big Mess.” Creating an album that delves into the chaotic stresses of day-to-day life, Grouplove’s latest is as relatable as it is catchy. “Big Mess” is Grouplove’s third album since their debut, “Never Trust a Happy Song,” which was released in 2011. Still a band that is developing their sound, Grouplove moves on from standard indie-rock and adds in layers of psychedelic influence, mixed in with some warm, feel-good progressions for “Big Mess.” The album was released on Sept. 9 and peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Top Alternative Charts.

    “Welcome To Your Life,” the opening track on the album, immediately sets the standard for the rest of the record. The track gives a confident burst of energy to the album with its strong rhythm components. As well as being the lead single for the album, “Welcome To Your Life” is catchy, optimistic music that gives listeners a subtly personal look into the lives of the band. The song’s theme may revolve around the relationship between founding band members, Hannah Hooper and Christian Zucconi, who recently had a baby girl together. The joys and anxieties that come with parenthood are apparent within the song, as the instrumentation provides jubilant vocals and heavy sounding guitars that create a warm, sonic oriented feeling.

    The rest of the album delivers upon the promise made by “Welcome To Your Life,” as the remainder of the tracks offer a hodgepodge of up-beat and some politically minded tracks that simultaneously examine conflicts plaguing modern society. Another couple of standout tracks come in the form of “Enlighten Me” and “Traumatized;” both found in the middle of the album. The former has an electronic beat that sets the rhythm, while multiple synths create layers of lush psychedelic ambiance. The lyrics take another introspective look at the way stress can negatively overwhelm people’s perspectives. “Traumatized” then deviates from that synth laden sound and instead takes a note from Nirvana by incorporating grunge level distortion in the guitars. The song takes on a furious pace and never stops, as the lyrics continue to analyze the challenges that come with parenthood. The final track, titled “Hollywood,” slows the tempo down and closes the album out in a chill manner. The song gives a laid-back perspective that allows listeners to reflect and simmer down following the previous party tracks.
    Overall, Grouplove’s third effort marks another step in the right direction for the California-based band and contrary to the album’s title, Grouplove appears to be in control of their sound. The album still retains the indie-pop sound that is successful in bands like Matt and Kim and The Mowgli’s, but Grouplove goes a step further by utilizing psychedelic and grunge influences to differentiate their sound. Fans are sure to enjoy the band’s continuous evolution, while new listeners still have plenty of excellent, feel-good songs to experience off of “Big Mess.”

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