Since they first broke through with “Colours” (QRO mp3 review), Grouplove have largely been better known for their singles than their albums, even as they’ve become better & better known in general. Third full-length Big Mess does have a killer opening single, but is altogether a more even record than before.
That killer opening single is “Welcome To Your Life”, Big, exuberant Grouplove electro-pop-rock that has earned them Big, exuberant crowds. From there, Grouplove largely stay big, veering to the rock on the following “Do You Love Someone”, synths on “Enlighten Me”, very big uplift to “Heart of Mine”, and dance-cheer with “Don’t Stop Making It Happen”. After “Life”, “Happen” and singer Hannah Hooper’s rapid-fire catch on “Good Morning” are the stand-outs, but Big Mess is not just ‘singles and some filler.’
There’s nothing wrong, indeed a lot right, about having great singles, just as there’s nothing wrong, indeed a lot right, with a band getting very popular (doing the rare intimate show can be tricky – QRO photos of Big Mess release party). But by a group’s third LP, they should do more than just EP-plus, and Grouplove do with Big Mess.