The third album from the West Coast band sees members sharpening their poppy New Wave sounds. It's still not quite sharp enough.
Oh Darling have landed on the soundtrack to Disney's Prom and on the airwaves at places like the Gap. These are a couple of fitting venues for the band's shiny, New Wave-influenced pop songs. On its third album, Brave the Sound, Oh Darling has mastered the sound and production to present alternately jangly and metronomic guitars, a muscular rhythm section that recalls Blondie, and ultra-girlie vocals from Jasmine Ash.
The more starry-eyed it gets, the better Brave the Sound is. "Gonna Be Yours" and "Great Getaway" are satisfyingly dreamy, and "Leave the Light On" has a sharp rock'n'roll edge that recalls the best of the Go-Gos. However, too much of the album falls by the wayside, with more crunchy arrangements that fail to distinguish themselves. You might get to second base with Brave the Sound, but you won't go all the way.