Album Reviews

Slow Club – Yeah So

(Moshi Moshi) UK release date: 6 July 2009

Slow Club - Yeah So Yeah So is the first album from Slow Club, a cute boy-girl duo (Charles and Rebecca) from Sheffield, whose fun live performances have been known to feature the use of a range of unconventional “instruments” for percussive purposes (bottle tops, the backs of chairs). Despite all these entertaining antics being invisible when listening to their album, they have nonetheless managed to infuse this recording with a comparable endearingly off-the-wall feel.

Both band members are gifted and agreeable vocalists, and lead vocal duties are shared around throughout the album. Sometimes they harmonise with each other within one song (Giving Up On Love), and at others they alternate within a track (It Doesn’t Have To Be Beautiful). Then again there’s just the one or other on ‘lead’ vocal.

This latter set-up is most notably put to use on Sorry About The Doom: a revelatory track towards the end of the album, where the listener is able to fully appreciate just what a glorious singing voice Rebecca possesses. Bags of charm is in evidence, both in the singing voices and also in the kind of youthful insouciance which the music somehow conveys, particularly on the perkier, more upbeat tracks which constitute about half of the album.

It is quite surprising, then, when listening to the lyrics, to realise that a great many of the featured songs are based around romantic failures and break-ups, from I Was Unconscious, It Was A Dream’s “I let you say ‘I love you’ / When I know I’ll never say it back” to Sorry About The Doom’s “I agree, you were right to say we’re doomed” to songs simply called There’s No Good Way To Say I’m Leaving You or Giving Up OnLove.

There’s a lot of heartbreak here, lying half-hidden by all the quirk and musical cheer. In other places, the lyrical content is a little more oblique and impressionistic (standout track and former single Because We’re Dead), or skirting dangerously close to “novelty track” (opener When I Go).

The programming is interesting, in that the order of tracks seems to have been deliberately chosen so that upbeat, quicker songs and slower more downbeat ones alternate nearly the entire way through. On the whole this works well and avoids the common sag often found in an album’s middle. Conversely, the largely unnecessary and irritating device of putting a “hidden” track at the end is less welcome and, indeed, the said track itself – as so often is the way – is not really worth the dead airtime that precedes it.

The often-acoustic, slightly folk- or country-tinged arrangements, coupled with the aforementioned engaging vocals (each offsetting the other most pleasingly) also work well, and enhance the collection of songs. While Giving Up On Love (with its Swinging Sixties pop feel), Because We’re Dead and Sorry About The Doom are unquestionable highlights, there is scarcely a track here that is anything less than likeable, charming and pleasingly, authentically redolent of the loves, joys and losses of The DatingYears.

buy Slow Club MP3s or CDs
Spotify Slow Club on Spotify

More on Slow Club
Slow Club – One Day All Of This Won’t Matter Anymore
This Music Made Me: Slow Club
Slow Club – Complete Surrender
Slow Club @ Union Chapel, London
Slow Club – Paradise