In 2010, Northern Ireland’s Two Door Cinema Club broke out the world over thanks to infectious & awesome debut Tourist History (QRO deluxe edition review). Now comes second album Beacon, with all the risks of the ‘sophomore jinx’. Thankfully, Two Door neither repeat themselves to lesser effect, nor go in some other random direction, but rather show some growth – even if they haven’t quite decided in which direction to grow yet.
Beacon sounds like a Two Door Cinema Club record, with the catchy dancetronica guitars and afro-pop rhythms – but the band is also trying to do more. There’s the sweeter Two Door of opener “Next Year”, plus “Sun” and “Settle”. The group delves into sadness with “Handshake”, “The World Is Watching”, and “Beacon”. There’s even expanse in “Spring”.
That all being said, one can’t help but feel that they’re getting away a bit from what made Tourist History great – at least in some songs. While the sweetness on “Next Year” works, it’s too sweet on “Settle”, and too simple on “Sun”. Dance-sad “Handshake” is superior to the softer-sad “The World”. And single “Sleep Alone” is the kind of really catchy Two Door from Tourist that didn’t have to be too dance-heavy – though “Wake Up” feels a bit paint-by-numbers History.
Like most acts with a stellar first album, Two Door Cinema Club were never going to be able to live up to Tourist History with their follow-up. But they have avoided the two usual pitfalls – trying to do the same thing again, or trying to do anything but the same thing again – and have set the stage for a brighter future.
MP3 Stream: “Sleep Alone“