From the off, it’s clear that [a]Slow Club[/a] have changed. Opener ‘[b]Two Cousins[/b]’ sees the snot-folk Sheffield two-piece in reflective mode and ditching the guitars and drums combo for something more subtle. There’s no more yelling and yelping. ‘[b]Paradise[/b]’ is more reserved, with fewer in-jokes; it’s less smart-alec and less disposable. Even the title is in contrast to the snarky, argumentative name of their debut, ‘[b]Yeah So[/b]’.
Thematically, too, ‘[b]Paradise[/b]’ is all grown up. Though it covers the same stomping ground of love and lust, the band now factor in loss and regret. The lovely ‘[b]Horses Jumping[/b]’ sees Charles take lead vocals, treading softly on [a]Elliott Smith[/a]’s turf. He poignantly and deftly reflects on a past relationship, noting that “[i]good love is hard to forget/When you know it was real[/i]”, before moving to the killer crux that “[i]Now we talk ’cos it’s new again/And that’s worth waiting for[/i]”. ‘[b]Hackney Marsh[/b]’ has a different perspective, with Rebecca crooning that “[i]Currency can ruin friendships/A mattress will do it too[/i]” as she pledges to move : she “[i]won’t be a sports car in three feet of grass[/i]”. A gentle saxophone solo lifts her up, up and away “[i]on a raft of brand-new beginnings[/i]”.
The only throwback to their former sound is ‘[b]Gold Mountain[/b], with its two voices and one guitar. But the sentiment is considered and humble. It’s a dedication to ends – and beginnings – as they both whoop, “[i]I have found that when the life comes pouring out/You are the only one that counts[/i]”. Secret track ‘[b]Paradise[/b]’ saves the best for last. Jubilant and forceful, hints of feedback screech beneath Rebecca harmonising with herself as Charles wails on electric guitar. It’s the sound of a band knowing exactly who they are, what they want – and how to get it.
- Record label: Moshi Moshi
- Release date: 12 Sep, 2011