Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Magic Numbers - Those The Brokes (Heavenly)

We’re not ones to hold grudges here at The Sloppy Dog. I mean, wishing the plague on Sandi Thom and her entire family based on just one single isn’t necessarily a grudge, is it? Definitions aside, we have to remind ourselves of our no-grudge stance when presented with Those The Brokes, the sophomore offering from The Magic Numbers.

Responsible for one of the most crushing disappointments in modern music via their debut album, we’re almost afraid to dip a toe into the water a second time around. Glorious pop making way into morose, forgettable bleating, the eponymous predecessor played out like the greatest night out you’ve ever had followed by the most unthinkably painful hangover imaginable.

So, having finally pushed ourselves to sample the wares, it would appear the fears were thankfully futile. A generally steady, distinct sound spread across a line-up of expert ditties means The Magic Numbers couldn’t be further from our Thom-topped blacklist – something which we’re damn relieved about, as they’re also on our list of pop stars who we reckon would be terrific to go for a pint with.

Willowy folk takes a back seat to accommodate amplified twiddling and subsequently, a far superior energy. Those The Brokes indicates that musicianship needn’t be defined by minor key broodage, opting for a merrier route throughout. Carl’s Song, a noodly hoedown punctuated with angelic harmonies, or opening goldmine This Is A Song demonstrate the Numbers doing what they do best.

Slower moments are by no means absent. More successful examples come via Boy, Take Me Or Leave Me and Undecided, which crucially each have their own identity rather than becoming misplaced in a puddle of their own pensiveness, undoubtedly the key fuck-up of the first album. However, considerably generic ballads cloud the latter part of the record, proving there’s still room to aim for perfection.

But in the meantime, we’ll dismiss all thoughts of album #1, happily enjoy Those The Brokes, and hope that the aforementioned pint comes along before we change our minds.

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