Hailing from the the birthland of Sir Tom Jones (Wales), Los Campesinos! debuted in 2006 with their uber-happy pop oriented album Hold on Now, Youngster… That album sparked some major buzz in the music industry with singles like “You!Me!Dancing!” and “Death to Los Campesinos!” In 2008, they released their more depressing, yet pop oriented We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed, to great critical acclaim. This release, Romance is Boring, fits somewhere between the ridiculously happy and depressing yet still upbeat tunes of past Los Campesinos! albums.
Over the course of last summer orginal female vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Aleks Campesino decided to leave the band to pursue her studies, leading to front man Gareth (yes, all the members come with the last name Campesino) to recruit his sister Kim for Aleks’ duties. Strangely enough, on the two songs, “Plan A” and “Romance is Boring”, that feature Kim instead of Aleks, Kim’s vocals are almost a direct replica of Aleks’.
Romance is Boring at times can be spectacular, like the crunchy guitar/badass chanting opening of “This is a Flag There is No Wind.” But for the most part, it’s an average run-thru of fuzzy pop music Los Campesinos! have made listeners accustomed to. As negative as that sounds, the album itself is pleasant and is geared more towards listeners who have tracked the short career of Los Campesinos! while at the same time having appeal towards those not so familiar with Gareth’s introspective hilarity and voice.
Key Tracks: “These Are Listed Buildings”, “This is a Flag there is No Wind”, “Romance is Boring”
Recommended if you like: Matt & Kim, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and Dananananaykroyd.
WPGU Music Staff Rating: W-P-G
W = Poor
W-P = OK
W-P-G = Good
W-P-G-U = Great!