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Young The Giant have brought out the polish on their second record ‘Mind Over Matter,’ taking their indie rock style and adding a mainstream twist. The band is asking for arenas now, and it seems like they have what it takes to make it there be if not for one serious issue, a lack of character.
YTG may be shooting for Phoenix level but there is nothing here on to make them stand out of the pack. Their self titled album, released in 2010, was rough and raw. There was an energy about their music that made it seem like they were playing the indie genre fast and loose. Now,however, they have reined it in and seemingly conformed to mainstream expectations, losing the part of their personality that made them unique. So while this new album is a solid effort with some all right song writing, it doesn’t advance the band further or help them make a mark like it should.
Lead single ‘It’s About Time’ is easily one of the dullest songs on the record and a poor choice as first foot forward. Instead, a track like ‘Anagram’ may have been a better selection thanks to its clever intertwining melodies and intricate rhythm lines that intersect in a classy way.
The band is really losing out with their singles as second option. ‘Crystallized’ is just as bland as its predecessor with some pretty cringe worthy lyrics, "when the beat of my tongue meets the beat of your heart you know I couldn’t love any other." The group seems to shine on their softer numbers, like the gentle folk tune ‘Firelight’, which suggests maybe they need to switch genres to really make a mark.
A highlight is the semi-paced but restrained ‘Waves’, which incorporates some subtle synth work and the finest melody lines on the record as it builds and swells with glittery guitar lines.
‘Mind Over Matter’ is a fine album to have on in the background. It will be exciting until you become bored of it and probably never pull it out again due to its lack of originality or stand out moments. Young The Giant seem so close to being something great but are drowning in a sea of normality.
1. Slow Dive
3. It’s About Time
5. Mind over Matter
9. In My Home