Home » Review of the album “Where’s My Utopia?”, Yard Act’s second album

Review of the album “Where’s My Utopia?”, Yard Act’s second album

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Review of the album “Where’s My Utopia?”, Yard Act’s second album

In his celebrated debut, Yard Act They were betting on an angular and austere signature post-punk that they arrived at – they claim – due to the limitations of the moment. His healthy sense of humor and a certain lightness within a genre that tends to lean towards introspective darkness were appreciated. The clever letters of James Smith (it is impossible to find a more English name), with a lucid custom that was less bitter than that of other colleagues, put the icing on the cake. And an incontestable direct did the rest. Result? New favorite group in your country and abroad.

In the sequel, those from Leeds have changed their register. Taking advantage of the means that success offers them, they open themselves to black music influences (hip-hop, R&B, soul, funk, disco…), guided by the creative spirit of bands they love as the inimitables Beastie Boys (“Down by The Stream”, “Fizzy Fish”). The idea is to leave aside the instrumental limitations of the usual rock formation, using euphoric samples (in the style of The Avalanches) and giving free rein to his most danceable and vitalist side.

The production of Remi King Jr.creator of the sound of Gorillaz, highlights this vocation. “An Illusion”, a hybrid between dragged hip-hop and a chorus of sophisticated luminous soul, precedes the vibrant single “We Make Hits” (nice tribute to “Sabotage” in the video), laying the foundations for an album that also has its most intense moments. in black and white that refer to his debut (“Petroleum”).

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But in the end, we know that beyond influences and arrangements, everything depends on the inspiration of the songs. And as happens to other current groups immersed in the maelstrom of success and endless tours, the album oscillates between its brilliant peaks (the bass and angular guitars of “Dream Job”, the disco strings of “The Undertow”, the chorus from “Petroleum”, the duet with Kathy J Pearson in “When The Laughter Stops”) and other less memorable moments. I have the impression that they have tried to compensate with (excellent) arrangements and many ideas for the lack of more substantial material… although Smith empties himself with such personal stories as “Blackpool Illuminations”, where he evokes a tender story from his childhood that condenses the luminous spirit of the album.

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