Album Review for Strength In Numbers by The Music
Famously declared by the legendary Tony Wilson as a band he wished he had signed, Leeds' The Music were acclaimed upon their 2002 breakthrough as one of the most exciting bands of their time with a huge future. Their second record was less well received, but four years later they've now returned, having been rebuilding their fanbase with a number of tours in the first half of 2008.
Famed for their ability to craft a hybrid of rock and dance that has yet to be bettered, The Music are back with more focus and drive than perhaps had been evident before. Perhaps more bass driven than in previous tracks, the likes of 'The Spike' and 'No Weapon Sharper Than Will' rumble along before exploding with anthemic choruses, though the relentless 'Fire' is a highlight with hectic guitars and brilliant energy. The most telling change to the band's output is that lyrically Robert Harvey is less ambiguous, now obviously dealing with his publicised demons of depression and drugs and how he is overcoming this. Save some uninspired lyrics, generally the results are simple hooks that will be chanted back in crowds once they've become familiar.
On the rare occasions they stray from the formula, the likes of 'Idle' are forgettable, but there's certainly more killer than filler. 'Drugs' is painfully soul revealing and dynamic, while 'Get Through It' is only outdone in the fist-pumping stakes by title track 'Strength In Numbers', which exemplifies The Music's embracing of digital touches to their sound. It is due to this that 'Inconceivable Odds' seems an odd choice as closing number, seeing the band take a previously unheard acoustic direction. It allows Harvey's vocals to be clearer than ever before and is potentially an arm-waving moment for their live shows, as well as a satisfying way to conclude a welcome return.