Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#747 in the Series) is The Temper Trap, The Temper Trap
The Temper Trap, an Australian band with a hugely successful debut album. After the release of their summer single “Sweet Disposition,” it became one of the most popular albums of 2009. Everyone knows that the second album is always the hardest, and unfortunately, The Temper Trap’s latest self-titled release reinforces this reality.
Reaching number 17 in the UK album charts after its release on the 21st May 2012, this 12-track certainly didn’t do badly in terms of popularity. But, we can’t judge music by numbers.
With the opening track “Need Your Love” reminding me of some sort of sci-fi movie theme tune, rather than an opening for a rock album, the band aren’t off to a great start. The track continues through holding the same note and almost no change in instruments or dynamics for the whole song. It seems that this emotively-driven quintet are trying something new with the second album, adding in synths and different aspects to their music, in order to achieve a more pop/rock vibe, and it works…for a while.
The most successful song of the album, “Trembling Hands,” really delves back into the band’s roots, going for a melancholic and melodic sound. Thought-provoking lyrics, and harmonies that could rival Muse really make for a great third song, and the album just about manages to redeem itself for now after the first two disasters.
I’d say that this is definitely a more experimental album, although the experiment turned out as more of a repetition exercise. After “Trembling Hands,” the rest of the tracks all have the same format, musical ideas, and really don’t offer us anything new or exciting, I even found myself not listening by accident at one point. Although the album has it’s bad points, it’s certainly not all doom and gloom. The melodic nurturing of the guitars really puts the band in a unique position. There are outstanding vocal ideas and harmonies throughout the album, which deserve consideration when reviewing. Accompanying these melodies are the steadfast, and at times, very deep lyrics.
“Rabbit Hole” and “I’m Gonna Wait” are two of the last tracks on the album. Both are a refreshing change from previous fillers. “Rabbit Hole” opening with a soothing acoustic guitar line, and “I’m Gonna Wait” using interesting chanting-like vocal ideas, and a nice chord progression throughout, although slightly repetitive.
The Temper Trap’s latest offering leaves a lot to be desired, however it is certainly not a bad album as such. With outstanding vocal lines, intricate and interesting melodic ideas, and deep lyrics, the band is certainly onto a winner.
All songs written by The Temper Trap. All lyrics written by Dougy Mandagi.
- “Need Your Love” 3:39
- “London’s Burning” 4:07
- “Trembling Hands” 4:38
- “The Sea Is Calling” 3:45
- “Miracle” 3:46
- “This Isn’t Happiness” 4:04
- “Where Do We Go from Here” 3:49
- “Never Again” 3:33
- “Dreams” 3:41
- “Rabbit Hole” 3:06
- “I’m Gonna Wait” 4:15
- “Leaving Heartbreak Hotel” 4:26
- Toby Dundas – drums
- Dougy Mandagi – vocals, guitar
- Jonathon Aherne – bass guitar
- Lorenzo Sillitto – lead guitar, backing vocals
- Joseph Greer – keyboards, guitar, backing vocals
Listen to the album in its entirety
Watch the Tender Trap Mini-Concert on The Late Show with David Letterman