Music

The View: Cheeky for a Reason

Some have marked this as a career best for the View, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that it has all come too late.


The View

Cheeky for a Reason

Label: Cooking Vinyl
US Release Date: 2012-07-10
UK Release Date: 2012-07-09
Amazon
iTunes

Hindsight is 20/20 and looking back to 2006, the writing was obviously on the wall for purveyors of exuberant, guitar-led pop. So as the View prepared to released their much heralded debut, Hats Off to the Buskers, their anthemic indie sound had almost become an irrelevance, a parody of itself.

Britpop had been dead for a decade, but it’s defaced tomb still loomed large over the landscape of popular music. The intervening years had seen indie pop struggle to escape the ominous shadows cast by that period, with some artists trying to kick against their dubious inheritance, whilst others smiled for the camera and cashed the cheques. Music was searching for its next defining generation, but for every zeitgeist highlight there was a Twang, a Fratellis, a Razorlight or a Kooks. Music festival footnotes, waiting in the wings to plod through another crowd manipulating, emotionally vapid bestseller.

That’s not to say the View’s particular brand of jaunty, crowd-pleasing tunes were without merit. The teenage quartet from Dundee, with a Scottish patois and youthful charm, were the most promising sound to appear from what had become an indistinguishable morass. The problem was, they arrived late in the day and the party-after-the-after-party was winding down, we were all packing up and getting ready to go home. So I suppose it’s a testament to their tenacity that as we flash forward five years, the View have not disappeared into the aether and are in fact are releasing their fourth album, Cheeky for a Reason.

In promotional interviews, singer Kyle Falconer’s has been quoted as saying that they wanted this record to sound like; "Fleetwood Mac's Rumours done by the Clash". It goes without saying that it doesn't, lacking the emotion of the former, the raw power of the latter and the longevity of either. For die-hard fans however, Cheeky for a Reason won't disappoint, because they're still capable of producing the joyous, thumping, singalongs they've come to be known for since their 2006 debut single, the infectious earworm that was “Wasted Little DJ’s”.

At its best, the View’s sound is scientifically designed to soundtrack a thousand summer festivals and on tracks like "How Long", "AB (We Need Treatment)" or "Sour Little Sweetie" you can almost see the steam rise off the crowds as they enthusiastically pogo up and down, screaming along to the lyrics. The problem is that The View seem acutely aware of these demands, so they rarely stray from the tried and tested formula and soon things begin to wear thin. As one track becomes indistinguishable from the next, “Anfield Row” and “Bullet” collide into a messy vortex of stadium claps and football chants, whilst “Hole in the Bed” sounds like a self-indulgent Libertines b-side, as covered by the Sweet.

It’s a shame, because when they eventually move on from the by-the-numbers approach, their music comes alive. The final two tracks, "Lean on My World" and in particular "Tacky Tattoo", showcase a tenderness and depth which has been less apparent in their previous offerings. Hinting toward the broader lyrical and melodic vision which might one day be worthy of Falconer’s bold allusions to a bands with a grander legacies.

Some might mark this album as a career best for the View and it’s certainly their most coherent and consistent release to date, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that it comes too late. If this had been their debut, back in the mid-'00s, it would have been lauded it as a spirited release that shows promise for the future, but the world has moved on and cartoonish, anthemic, indie pop is no longer the musical vanguard. They may go onto greater things, certainly there are hints to that possibility, but whilst youth remains on their side, time and taste does not. As Falconer sings on "Clocks"; “The clock has no sympathy” and you can’t help but feel this time, he’s hit the nail on the head.

5

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

Keep reading... Show less

Pauline Black may be called the Queen of Ska by some, but she insists she's not the only one, as Two-Tone legends the Selecter celebrate another stellar album in a career full of them.

Being commonly hailed as the "Queen" of a genre of music is no mean feat, but for Pauline Black, singer/songwriter of Two-Tone legends the Selecter and universally recognised "Queen of Ska", it is something she seems to take in her stride. "People can call you whatever they like," she tells PopMatters, "so I suppose it's better that they call you something really good!"

Keep reading... Show less

Morrison's prose is so engaging and welcoming that it's easy to miss the irreconcilable ambiguities that are set forth in her prose as ineluctable convictions.

It's a common enough gambit in science fiction. Humans come across a race of aliens that appear to be entirely alike and yet one group of said aliens subordinates the other, visiting violence upon their persons, denigrating them openly and without social or legal consequence, humiliating them at every turn. The humans inquire why certain of the aliens are subjected to such degradation when there are no discernible differences among the entire race of aliens, at least from the human point of view. The aliens then explain that the subordinated group all share some minor trait (say the left nostril is oh-so-slightly larger than the right while the "superior" group all have slightly enlarged right nostrils)—something thatm from the human vantage pointm is utterly ridiculous. This minor difference not only explains but, for the alien understanding, justifies the inequitable treatment, even the enslavement of the subordinate group. And there you have the quandary of Otherness in a nutshell.

Keep reading... Show less
3

A 1996 classic, Shawn Colvin's album of mature pop is also one of best break-up albums, comparable lyrically and musically to Joni Mitchell's Hejira and Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks.

When pop-folksinger Shawn Colvin released A Few Small Repairs in 1996, the music world was ripe for an album of sharp, catchy songs by a female singer-songwriter. Lilith Fair, the tour for women in the music, would gross $16 million in 1997. Colvin would be a main stage artist in all three years of the tour, playing alongside Liz Phair, Suzanne Vega, Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Meshell Ndegeocello, Joan Osborne, Lisa Loeb, Erykah Badu, and many others. Strong female artists were not only making great music (when were they not?) but also having bold success. Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill preceded Colvin's fourth recording by just 16 months.

Keep reading... Show less
9

Frank Miller locates our tragedy and warps it into his own brutal beauty.

In terms of continuity, the so-called promotion of this entry as Miller's “third" in the series is deceptively cryptic. Miller's mid-'80s limited series The Dark Knight Returns (or DKR) is a “Top 5 All-Time" graphic novel, if not easily “Top 3". His intertextual and metatextual themes resonated then as they do now, a reason this source material was “go to" for Christopher Nolan when he resurrected the franchise for Warner Bros. in the mid-00s. The sheer iconicity of DKR posits a seminal work in the artist's canon, which shares company with the likes of Sin City, 300, and an influential run on Daredevil, to name a few.

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image