Two Door Cinema Club have returned to the music scene with their new album Gameshow after a two-year hiatus from the music industry and a four-year break since their last album.
The new music was waited for with anticipation, yet opinions will be split over the newest entry to their discography. Expectations were high after Beacon reached number two in the album charts in 2012, yet Gameshow fails to deliver.
The album kicks off with the catchy ‘Are We Ready (Wreck)’ that establishes a similar sound to Beacon and Tourist History. The track is definitely one of the redemptive moments of the album. Others like this include ‘Ordinary’ and ‘Invincible’. However, tracks ’Bad Decisions’ and ‘Je Viens De La’ hugely contrast in sound and style; overused and forced falsetto reminding the listener more of a Bee Gees cover band than of an indie-pop group.
Gameshow is an album all about materialism, social media, and the vanity of the famous and the lyrical intelligence of the Irish trio is evidenced throughout the album, particularly in the title track. In the song, the band talk of the shallow nature of some music fans: “sing to me you’re so pretty” and “I’ll be the souveneir” in addition to, arguably, the malleability and falseness of the music industry: “I’m made of plastecine, I’m Pinnochio”.
Praise must be given to the band for the effort and often intelligence behind many of the songs, yet with 15 tracks on the deluxe record, it feels uncomfortably crowded with all tracks lasting around the four-minute mark. Perhaps if the tracks themselves weren’t so muddled and clashing this wouldn’t be a problem, but in this circumstance it just doesn’t work.
Overall, certain parts of the album show promise and will please the admirers of previous albums, yet the general aura of the record is chaotic and it appears strained. In trying to find a new sound, they have lost their unique contribution to the indie-pop field.
It is as though on this occasion, Two Door Cinema Club have just tried too hard, which is somewhat disappointing after such a long wait.