Los Campesinos! – Hello Sadness
by Lauren Moquin (Journalism), published November 18th 2011
Moldy | Stale | Edible | Fresh | Tasty!
Los Campesinos! have chosen to go in a path too mellow for their own good with their album, Hello Sadness. It takes a couple of listens to try and accept that there are no lip clenching moments. Even then, there is not enough grizzle to keep a fan satisfied. Maybe they just do not want to revisit “the year punk rock broke their heart,” but we want it all. We want to fall out of control again while making fun of ourselves on the way, we want someone to rip their feelings out on a xylophone, and we want the quirky punk back.
Putting the disappointment aside, Hello Sadness has to be credited with some heavy lyrics. After all, Los Campesinos! have been capable of crafting a reflective piece bringing about some tears in the past. This album features this talent amongst their many others. Naming the album Hello Sadness just might have been their way of forewarning us to these 40 minutes of solitude and despair.
One of the best ways to enjoy Hello Sadness would be to skip straight to the title track, “Hello Sadness.” The familiar pairing of soft voices with Gareth’s strong, uneven voice is executed with full force. Whenever Gareth feels around for the line “It’s only hope that springs eternal and that’s the reason why this dripping from my broken heart is never running dry,” it is hard not to feel your insides melt. The genuine nature of the band is still there, it is just the lack of high, strong instrumentals within the album that is missed.
It is hard to accept an album with such little variety. There are definitely some solemn stories to be told, but the execution just does not successfully translate like their previous albums. A couple tracks could become long time favorites, but the rest stand small amongst the songs of their past.
Recommended Tracks: By Your Hand, Hello Sadness, The Black Bird, The Dark Slope