STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 31221-13092 LABEL: Parlophone 5031772 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2007-09-03 RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
Considering the way in which Coldplay and Snow Patrol are regularly vilified by Keepers Of The Cool journalists, the Deptford four-piece who work in similar lilting, sensitive epic-rock territory haven't received the same degree of put-downs. But now that 'Tourist' has sold over two million copies we can no doubt expect some biting offensives against Joel Pott and co's third album, particularly as 'Beyond The Neighbourhood' clearly has important environmental and social ambitions with a set of songs dealing with such topics as natural disaster (the single "Hurricane"), the plight of Britain's dispossessed ("The Outsider") and most intriguingly of all, a song which suggests using airports for nightclubs once flying is banned ("Airport Disco"). Musically, the band execute their usual quiet verse with loud building chorus style with aplomb though now there are electronic bleeps and loops demonstrating Athlete's new found interest in lap top electronica. "It's Not Your Fault" has a guitar line which sounds a bit like The Editors while "Flying Over Bus Stops" has a dreamy, surreal feel. Finally there's "Best Not To Think About It", one more song about September 11 which doesn't break any really new ground but at least avoids mawkish sentimentality. Lyrically, Pott makes some interesting statements including the intriguing one that he is a "walking advertisement for both light and dark." Here's hoping light gets the victory. Not a classic, but on the whole an album which will satisfy those who bought 'Tourist'.
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