Grouplove “Spreading Rumors”

GrouploveGrouplove

“Spreading Rumors”

[Canvasback/Atlantic; 2013]

 by Taylor Gilliam

Whether or not they claim to never be sellouts, it is every artist’s dream to have their music reach the masses. “Take me to your best friend’s house/ Go around this roundabout” were two lines that played out of car windows, in grocery stores, and even on an Apple commercial last year.  Grouplove had done it.  Now, the “tongue tied” band is back with a sophomore effort and looking to top the charts once again.

And they just might succeed.  Spreading Rumors, the second full-length studio album from the four-year-old band, dropped on Tuesday—much to the excitement of fans of the their “indietronica” sound.  Their previously released single, “Ways To Go,” is a solid sample of the album’s fun vibe, but the question on everyone’s mind: is it the highlight?

The first track is “I’m With You,” a track with a quiet and dreamy beginning using piano that builds into the dance-in-your-room classic Grouplove sound.  With its effervescence, it is perhaps a play on the implications of their freshman album’s title, Never Trust A Happy Song but nevertheless a solid opener.  Standout track “Borderlines & Aliens” follows, starting with electric guitar and drums that feel almost like a twist on classic rock.  The rest of the album features a wide, even exploratory range of inclusions- an intense percussion solo at the end of “Sit Still,” a taste of dubstep lite in “Hippy Hill,” and commitments toward both the electronic and rock sides of their style.  Singer Hannah Hooper also has a shining moment, taking the lead in “Didn’t Have To Go.”  Don’t worry- the famous Grouplove yell can be heard a few times over the course of the album.

The lyric content of Spreading Rumors does not have quite as wide of a spectrum as its music, mostly speaking of a love experienced but lost–not unfamiliar territory for most groups.  “I was so in love and then I fell apart” from “Schoolboy” is the most obvious line.  However, happiness is recalled along side heartbreak: “Living in the back of the room just like we do… Don’t wanna sleep tonight/ You’ve got me feeling right” (“Ways To Go”) and “Yeah we’re laughing like a Wednesday night/ We ran across the interstate” (Shark Attack).  As in “Tongue Tied,” the tidbits of information offer a quirky, charming insight into what is a more personal story than those typically depicted in other genres.

The first half of Spreading Rumors grasps listeners; the second, though not quite on par, is still engaging.  Overall, the group delivers.  At the end of the album, as the music slows down and the acoustic guitar comes out, Grouplove asks us to save the party for them; by all means save the buy for them, too.  It’s easy to love the quality of the group, and this isn’t just me spreading a rumor.

 

Standout Tracks: “Borderlines & Aliens”  “Shark Attack”

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