Such was the success of the 2012 ‘Django Django’s’ self-titled debut there seemed little rush in releasing a hastily recorded looky-likey follow-up. Certainly much of the debut is still as favoured on Radio play-lists now as it was back when it dropped; testament to a well appreciated and acclaimed album. And so after an 18 month period of methodically recording their sophomore LP ‘Born Under Saturn’ we are surprisingly bequeathed with much of the same.
Certainly the bands ability to construct likeable melodies and obvious harmonies remain, but it’s the lack of musical progress and similarity that stands out on this release.
There are of course “wow” moments. The brooding piano on ‘Giant’, combined with Vincent Neff’s vocals, cements this as the LP’s stand-out track. ‘Shake and Tremble’, ‘Break the Glass’ and the excellent ‘Shot Down’ also offer something a little different; with the latter certainly containing the most memorable chorus and feel-good factor. However, these tracks are but fleeting moments of originality.
I’ve always been an advocate for quality over quantity (no obscene jokes please) and the thirteen songs on ‘Born Under Saturn’ seem to fail with relation to the former. This entire LP could have been delivered with a lot less “fillers”, which have simply aided in diluting the content. At times each track seems indistinguishable from its preceding album bed-mate. The melting pot of melodies and choruses seem to converge into one giant ball of indie-pop that, while nice on the ear, rarely offer anything particularly new. The medium pace that ambles from track to track actually starts to become a little tiresome and what should be an accomplished sophomore release fades away without so much as a whimper.
Part of me wonders if the East-London based band are victims of their own success. Such was the quality of their Mercury nominated debut that this release was always going to have the ‘difficult second album’ stamp all over it. I would even go as far to suggest that if your introduction to ‘Django Django’ is via this LP then the content would actually seem quite affable. And in truth there are actually no bad tracks here… just too many average ones.
This release certainly hasn’t un-done the good work of their debut. However, one feels there is still much more to come from this talented 4-piece.
‘Born Under Saturn’ is out now on ‘Because Music’
You can see ‘Django Django’ at one of the following venues…
May 13th 2015 – Portsmouth Pyramids Centre TICKETS