Arriving in the slip-stream of Halloween, The Miserable Rich’s third album promises tales of creaking floorboards and shifting silhouettes in the dead of night. Commercial holiday aside, it was also partly recorded in Blickling Hall, one of Britain’s most haunted estates. Few would doubt the marketability of such an intriguing premise.
Unfortunately, despite the band’s finest efforts, Miss You In The Days is neither eerie nor arresting. Instead what remains is 43 minutes of beautifully crafted yet thematically lacking ‘chamber pop’.
There’s nothing necessarily wrong with Miss You In The Days (or The Miserable Rich for that matter). Its delicate pacing and mourning strings often make for a pleasurable listen. One would think such attributes should suit the concept of the LP perfectly. The problem is most of the tracks are so similar in sound that they blend into one, creating a sense of repetition that doesn’t allow the album to expand on its premise.
The album’s two best tracks, Riding The Changes and the bouncy On A Certain Night, provide exceptions to this repetition. The former strips away The Miserable Rich’s trademark wall of sound, creating a sense of isolation before crescendoing into a haunting middle eighth. Conversely, On A Certain Night bops with an enthusiasm – and an almost doo wop chorus – that seems to burst from an entirely different place altogether.
For the most part, however, the album strains to create a vibe that it never quite achieves. Many of the tracks build up nicely enough but are let down by either underwhelming choruses or inferior hooks. Examples are numerous; Honesty, Pillion and The China Shop Of Dreams swoon with wielding violins and lush orchestration but ultimately fail to stand out from the pack. Whilst this approach is enough to appease steadfast fans of the band and chamber pop in general, there is not enough diversity to sustain interest from listeners outside this market.
Another slight downfall of Miss You In The Days is in its lyrics. For an album that is supposed to centre on ethereal happenings, the language is too generic to invoke any significant imagery. True Love is the biggest perpetrator with lines such as; “you’ll hear me walk the night for you / when you’re near me / I know what I’ll have to do / people fear me when I walk the night for you / but it’s clearly the one thing I can do”. There is not enough bite or depth to match the sinister subject matter.
Whilst far from being a fatal release, Miss You In The Days is somewhat of a step sideways for The Miserable Rich. They are an undoubted talent, as highlighted in patches on this album as well as with previous efforts Twelve Ways To Count and Of Flight And Fury. There is little doubt they will rebound for their next release. As it stands, however, the band’s third album is only a tease of what they are truly capable of.