Album Review: Highlife – This Club
Pros:A blast of sunshine with a persuasive taste of more off it.
Cons:There is a lack of variation in both theme and tune.
More of the blissful same from the chaps who brought us Add It Up and I Won’t Worry. Which is exactly what we wanted.
It’s hard to believe that This Club, formerly known as Hoarsebox, presently known as the happiest jivers this side of Mardi Gras, have only just released their debut album. Highlife (ne’er a truer moniker) is the culmination of a fairly long intro to the four funkiest men in Ireland, during which we’ve been hoisted into our dancing shoes and jiggled more enthusiastically than was probably necessary. Brilliant pop ditties like Work Party and Rosey whetted our appetites for a full-length album, and Highlife doesn’t disappoint.
This is sunshine pop of its most persuasive: cheeky, frothy and succinct. From the shoutalong silliness of opener ‘Help Me’ (I robbed from this bank, and I stole from that store / drunk-drove a tractor, slept on my kitchen floor), to the smirking chic of final track Topdrop (The sun is hot / The breeze is soft / The drinks are free…), there’s nary a pause for breath nor a broken smile. This is Ireland’s perfect modern summer album.
It’s doubtful whether tying themselves into such a defined time and place will always prove so beneficial for This Club – in chasing a consciously light, airy sound, their music is far more accessible than essential – but it’s hard to fault them when they’ve succeeded to this extent. There is a slight tinge of disappointment to the discovery that the two strongest tracks –’Add It Up’ and ‘I Won’t Worry’, both sublime – are the tracks we’re most familiar with; This Club played their best hand very early on, so there’s no real surprises on Highlife.
Still, there are such sweet vocal harmonies, and so many evocative uplifting snapshots that this lack of variation plays without a single dud note. You may not ever need Highlife, but you’ll almost certainly fall in love with it.