Kodaline's debut album 'In A Perfect World' predominantly consists of romanticised pop ballads which share similar attributes to bands like Mumford and Sons, Bastille and Of Monsters and Men - a classic combination of pop and modern folk.
Opening track One Day (no relation to the David Nicholls novel except for the same desired, romantic impact) is fuelled on inspiring lyrics which are projected through the high-pitched yet admirable vocal of Stephen Garriganand whilst the slow percussive tempo puts you into an intentional depressed state which is maintained throughout hit song 'All I Want'. It is no surprise that the single received the expected, mass success it did, appealing to a large demographic spanning from 'alternative' teenagers to the 'cool' mother, relating to anybody who has ever been left heartbroken.
The Irish quartet prove that with an increase in the tempo they can create a happy, summer theme in 'Love Like This', which edges on a sound similar to the Lumineers with a Bluegrass pop twist. Unfortunately, despite the change in tempo and key, the lyrics are reminiscent of the entire theme of the album, unrequited love, contradicting the major keys and upbeat tempo.
Eventually (upon further listening), the once heartfelt lyrics become tedious and remind you of a teenager's first love or a needy friend who "just needs to learn to move on!"
As the album proceeds, the minimalistic percussion is lost and becomes over produced with the use of keyboards and unnecessary effects particularly in 'All Comes Down' and 'Lose Your Mind' featured on the deluxe edition.
'High Hopes' and 'Pray' also lack the originality of the tracks featured on the first quarter of the album. In some respects they feel more like Coldplay covers rather than original songs as they follow the same Chris Martin formula of simplistic acoustic guitars, minimalistic piano chords and high-pitched vocals whilst manipulating human emotion with heartfelt lyrics.
Unfortunately, despite the albums name, it is not perfect. Despite the impressive first quarter, there is little lyrical or emotional development, making the album feel unoriginal, boring and depressive, particularly towards the end. From their singles, it's easy to see why Kodaline have gained popularity in a relatively short amount of time, but this album isn't the one the band was destined to become famous from. With a little more time and experience, the band is sure to live closer to expectations.
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