Reviewed By Robyn: Predictable Pop Is Boring with The Vamps & Alex Clare

Somebody To You EP – The Vamps

The Vamps. Somebody to you

The Vamps are a group somewhere between One Direction and Justin Bieber. After coming together over YouTube and the release of their debut album a few months ago, they’re already back with a new EP. The songs are catchy and feature the voice of Bradley Simpson and are all about how the boys are just looking to be loved by that purposely poorly described girl.

If I were thirteen, I would probably be head over heels in love with these guys. They’re cute, came from an unlikely start like JB, and actually covered a 1D song on this EP. Their music has nothing particularly wrong with it – it is the usual boy-band pop that drives teens crazy. They at least all play an instrument and seem to have some talent.

Unfortunately,  I am not in the mind that we really need another One Direction in our ears. This type of music is too  repetitive and perpetuates bad music sense in young people. Of course the lyrics and melodies are innocent enough, but there is nothing ground breaking or in the slightest bit unique about The Vamps’ EP.

I give the” Somebody To You” EP a C+ because although I could stand hearing the songs a few times on the radio, there is just nothing special about this EP. It’s boring, but I’m sure it will sell which is the more important part, right? I happen to disagree but I don’t work for a record company.

Three Hearts – Alex Clare

alex clare three hearts

I’m sure you’ve heard of Alex Clare – he had the single “Too Close” that was a hit last summer. Now he is back with a second album. Not knowing what to expect, I listened to “Three Hearts” his new album while trying not to think of his hit single. Clare is a fantastic singer but that doesn’t make a great album alone.

The album is very emotional and seems to be about the change between having non-serious relationships to having one that means everything to him. The title track  “Three Hearts” is about a couple that is about to have a baby. As I mentioned, the singing is great. Clare has a powerful voice that should have been better focused on throughout the album. He has a unique country-pop voice, but I  can’t decide what genre his album is trying to be.

Some songs are leaning towards a more pop feel – for example the song “Heavy Hands” – while other songs have a more country-esque vibe to them – for example “Just A Man”. Either way, I was not really compelled to keep listening to these tracks. There is something kind of artificial about the production, it kind of feels like each audio track was computer generated. Even the guitar and piano seem to fit awkwardly into the songs.

There is nothing particularly strong or weak about any of the songs which leaves the album to fade from interest very quickly. Maybe the weird non-genre is throwing me off, or maybe the album is something that gets better over time but I just can’t find a reason to enjoy or resist the tracks. It could be pleasant to hear them in the background at a café because they do have a smoothness brought to them by Clare’s singing. The best song is War Rages On – maybe it’s the strings that bring it to life? I would wager it’s Clare’s wailing voice that makes the song the best on the album.

I rate Alex Clare’s “Three Hearts” a B- just for the smoothness and comforting background-noise the album could provide. Musically there is nothing exciting nor addicting about the tracks. Some of the songs could be truly heart wrenching but they are just missing that je-ne-sais-quoi.