This is a dangerous time to be making sincere anthem rock: Coldplay has become an easy punch line; Snow Patrol hasn’t had a hit in four years; and last month the Fray managed to release an album without attracting the slightest bit of notice. And with only a cursory listen it would be easy to lump In-Flight Safety in with their fallen brethren, what with their simple (but atmospheric!) guitar work, their pounding keyboards, and their vague-but-sensitive lyrics.
But to engage in such careless stereotyping would be to miss out on how good of an album We Are an Empire, My Dear actually is. The album is a strangely comforting one, warm and smooth around the edges and effortless to enjoy. Much of the appeal comes from John Mullane’s immaculately-controlled voice, around which the band builds itself; the rest comes from the dual appearances of the endearingly-named Duffus Street Choir, who sing on the album standouts “Model Homes” and “Paperthin”. We Are an Empire, My Dear is not an original album. But it is a good album, and when you can make music like this, there are worse things to be than unoriginal.
// Notes from the Road
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