Two years since their last album, The Vamps return re-energized and reborn with Cherry Blossom. For their fifth release, the foursome have revamped their sound, showing a newfound depth and musicality. Inspired by a trip to Japan last year, the foursome have explained how the cherry blossom represents rebirth and renewal, an appropriate concept for this moment in their career. The album itself exudes confidence, and these new tracks exemplify their evolution since their fresh-faced debut in 2013.
On Cherry Blossom, The Vamps have gravitated towards a grungier, more electronic form of pop. Bass-heavy single ‘Married in Vegas’ was fans’ first taste of this new sound and was met with positive reviews, taking home Radio 1’s Song of the Week. Its catchy piano riff and punchy drums set high expectations for the album’s release with its new alternative sound. Yet, the other tracks don’t quite live up to the energy and excitement encapsulated in this first single, with ‘Married in Vegas’ remaining the stand-out highlight of the album.
Maintaining its emotional depth throughout, the album creates both highs and lows. The addition of more sombre tracks ‘Protocol’ and ‘Treading Water’ provides a contrast to the upbeat energy seen elsewhere. ‘Part Of Me’ and ‘Nothing But You’ feature riffs reminiscent of The 1975, showcasing the band’s new experimental sound and creating an energetic and upbeat vibe.
From the anthemic ‘Intro’ that melts into ‘Glory Days’ – a track which celebrates the importance of living in the moment – to the emotional ending track ‘Treading Water,’ this is clearly a personal project for the band. For the first time in their careers, the album is largely self-written and produced. In an interview with the Official Charts, the band expressed how they felt they’d been on a ‘conveyor belt’ of releasing music and touring, and feared burning out. The record is undoubtedly important to them, and their personal involvement in its creation gives a refreshing sense of authenticity and maturity.
The release’s success is a testament to the band’s 7-plus years in the industry. From the accompanying photography, music videos and concept visuals, to the self-production and tracks themselves, Cherry Blossom is only the start of an exciting new era for the band.
Image: Virgin EMI Records