By Alex Evans
This term, Xtreme Radio is proud to present our featured presenter reviews. Each week, a new presenter will show their music taste through an album review and a featured artist article. This week, Xtreme’s Head of Daytime Music Alex Evans reviews The Wombats’ ‘Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life’.
The Wombats are at a peak in popularity at the moment. They burst on to the scene a decade ago with their debut album ‘Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation’ which had such hits as ‘Let’s Dance to Joy Division’ and the infectious ‘Moving to New York’. This album established them as one of the leaders of the mid 2000s indie resurgence along with such bands as The Courteeners, The Kooks and Vampire Weekend. Then their second album Glitterbug released in 2015, with one of my personal favourite Wombats songs ‘Greek Tragedy’ reached number five in the charts, launching them into a huge UK tour.
Now with the wonderfully named Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life, the Wombats have kept to their quirky roots, with the leading singles on the album ‘Lemon to a Knife Fight’ and ‘Cheetah Tongue’ having both incredibly catchy and wacky lyrics. This has gone even further into wackiness than some of the Wombats earlier songs like ‘Let’s Dance to Joy Division’ where the lyrics focus on a depressed person going clubbing. In comparison to ‘Lemon to a Knife Fight’ which is as far as I can tell about exactly what it says on the tin (though I may be missing some obvious symbolism, if so let me know).
My personal favourite track of the album is ‘Black Flamingo’ which was the final track from the album to be released in single form before the albums full release. With its upbeat guitar riffs and unique opening to the song which sets up the rest of the song perfectly. The lyrics of ‘Black Flamingo’ fit in with the title of the album, talking about love hurts and how to deal with toxic love, fitting perfectly with the “love gone bad” theme of the album.
Overall ‘Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life’ is a very solid entry from the Wombats, with many catchy tunes and some thought provoking lyrics which alone might make this album worth listening to. However there is a big question looming over the album; is it overall as good or better than their debut album ‘Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation’? The answer to that in my opinion is no. This is down to the fact that despite there being some solid tracks in ‘Cheetah Tongue’ and ‘Black Flamingo’ there are no out of the park hitters like ‘Moving to New York’ or ‘Let’s Dance to Joy Division’ which are almost classics within the indie genre. This album is worth listening to but it is not the Wombats best work.
P.S in writing this review I have noticed that the Wombats love a long title to a song or album making writing this review late at night all that more difficult.