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4 out of 10
When you see a band made up of members of Waking Ashland and Sherwood you could be forgiven for hoping that the result of this would fuse the writing ability of the former with the catchiness of the later. But you see the problem with this cocktail is that it can also work in the other direction, and this is actually what happens. You get the worst elements of both bands to culminate in an insipid and bland album. We Shot the Moon have attempted to create a pop-album, and in this I applaud them. There are too few people willing to put their hands up and admit that they have no pretensions or ulterior motives, and that all they want to do is write simple, catchy songs. The album actually makes a decent start on this front, The Waters Edge and Sway Your Head are not great songs, but they are catchy and ultimately solid pop songs. However, the album sags under the weight of some odd ballad-esque numbers and a baffling track listing.
The Sherwood influence is instantly recognisable but the piano at the forefront of many of the songs has a distinctly Coldplay feel to it, something that for me is an horrific turn-off but could entice some people who like that sort of thing, and by that sort of thing I mean bland, bland music - the musical equivalent of chicken korma, ready salted crisps or the colour beige. The problem that this album has is that too many of the songs are interchangeable, and it is too easy to tune out and realise that by the time you have started paying attention again 4 songs have passed. Particularly guilty on this front is the middle section of the album, from the banal Perfect Time to the plain Julie.
This album seems to lack emotion or at least passion. I know that is an incredibly harsh criticism, and no musical artist will purposefully create an album that they don't put their maximum effort into, but it is hard to listen to some of the chorus' without wishing that the band would take it to the next level. On the odd occasion when the band manages to look they are building up to a huge chorus, it whimpers out and has all the impact of being slapped around the face with a piece of soggy tissue paper. Upon Waking She Found Herself a Cougar at least makes an attempt to correct this, utilising a main hook that wouldn't have been out of place on a Jack's Mannequin album, the song actually does a decent job of showing what We Shot the Moon could have achieved, and along with the first two tracks, is the best that this album has to offer.
It should be clear that the overriding emotion when listening to this album is disappointment, closely followed by frustration. This should have been a good album, but it is not. It would have some appeal to fans of Waking Ashland and Sherwood obviously, but I feel that most will be disappointed by the inability to create the perfect synthesis between those two bands, because if that was ever done - that would be a great album.
1. The Waters Edge
2. Sway Your Head
5. Perfect Time
6. Tunnel Vision
8. On Your Way
10. Upon Waking She Found Herself a Cougar
11. In the Blue
12. Please Shine