The new, self-titled Bluetones’ album drops in October, and it’s another in a fine line of lite Britpop. It features a sound that’s held up solidly over the last decade, featuring Mark Morriss’ signature, tinny vocals and a cool, mid-tempo swing.
The album has rolling, grungy, anthemic, and somber elements to it, showing off the breadth of melodies and intensity their songs can possess. The Bluetones is a showcase of the milder side of Britpop, updating the formula that defined them twelve years ago.
Mark Morriss’ voice never seems to age. It’s on display most in harmonies with himself, such as in "Baby, Back Up". He’s got one of the more delicate voices of recent British rock, and is perhaps the Bluetones’ most defining sound. "Hope and Jump" is a quieter, acoustic track with smooth touches of lullaby, eventually rolling into loftier territory. Like a weekend afternoon, the album is a blend of soothing and exciting, with an underlying amount of care-free flow.
In the more guitar-driven songs, the band kicks out top-down jams such as "My Neighbour’s House", similar to the non-stop Oasis b-side "Stay Young". "Head On a Spike", is a fiery, Metric-esque glide with haunting organ and sour audacity. There’s still plenty of youth in these songs, as if the band could keep going for a long time.
Overall, the album is potent, but lacks a real single. All of the pleasant elements of years past are present, but The Bluetones is slightly missing on catchiness. It’s more of an album for the fans than anything, and ultimately proves that The Bluetones are deeply set in their abilities, and are capable of producing success for years to come.