So its here, the long awaited sophomore album from English rock band, Blossoms. After putting out their debut self titled album Blossoms in 2016 and doing monumental things in the UK like playing Glastonbury, opening for The Stone Roses. Even doing Coachella and Lollapalooza in America. After some tours and promo, that type of stuff, the band seemed to have fell off the map.
Resurfacing this past winter with some twitter beef that definitely caught me. Rumors of a break up seeing as the boys have been so quiet. Their self titled debut was such a success I would have lost it if they left us like that. But Blossoms was such a spectacular, colorful, and cohesive album. If they were to go out like that on such a high note who could've been angry at them? Give me my fifteen minutes of fame and then let me live right? Wrong. After video surfaced of drummer Joe Donovan slandering front man Tom Ogden, the two took to twitter and exchanged some choice words. Fans were worried, of course there was discourse on if the video was real or not but it was literally Donovan slandering Ogden. What would the future of Blossoms look like?! Queue indie twitter losing it because nothing has happened in months. Shortly thereafter, Blossoms released a mockumentary addressing said twitter spat, where the guys have been, and what they've been up to. So, confirmation that the argument was a hoax and we would be hearing from our favorite Stockport boys very soon.
Coming back strong, they released two singles prior to the drop of new album entitled Cool Like You. The two singles "I Can't Stand It" and "Theres A Reason Why (I Never Returned Your Calls)" The two tunes happen to lead us into this new Blossoms rabbit hole being the first ones on the album. "Theres A Reason Why (I Never Returned Your Calls)" opens the record and on a high note too. Anthemic might be an understatement for this track. The synths are reminiscent of an ABBA song. The '70s, '80's pop synth sound is something this band has showcased and done well time and time again. Third track "Cool Like You" has a stand out funky bass section that I don't associate with Blossoms but I would love more of. The ethos of the album is a very hurt but healing one. Chock full of sad pop songs backed by super hype synths and guitar, this album sounds like mixed feelings. You wanna dance to the rhythm but when Ogden sings about how theres a vacancy in his heart and how if he had you to himself he'd be happy on "Strangers Still" and you relate that song to a time in your life, it becomes an intense introspective circle. Although this album is more blunt in its lyricism, in comparison to its predecessor, it sounds like asking for permission. It sounds unsure of how things are going to go. Unsure of how you're going to feel. As opposed to Blossoms the debut album that stepped onto the scene and seemingly said "Okay, this is how its going to go." This album poses questions. On "How Long Will This Last?" Ogden speaks about the uncertainty of a relationship. How long will this last? Is this even going to work out? "Giving Up The Ghost" sounds like the less slinky, hard rock older brother of "Smoke" off the Blossoms self titled album. Blossoms have a special way of creating beautiful albums that when played beginning to end, sound like a musical, like an opera, or a freaking ballet. There is a song to introduce us to the characters, another to set the scene. A song for every conflict and resolution. The track "Lying Again" sounds like the ultimate fight scene at the end of a movie that settles the big issue. Closer track "Love Talk" is a sweeter everything-i-never-said type of tune. In essence its like end of the movie and you think "Oh, theres no way in hell theres not going to be a sequel. There has to be a sequel" even though it hasn't even ended and the movie, or in this case the album, just came out.
Cool Like You is an honest heartfelt album that highlights all the things that Blossoms as a collective does well. The layered percussive synth on top of dreamy shimmer pop guitar sounds. Blossoms also did that thing where they make a clean cohesive album that delivers and evokes emotion. Cool Like You was just that and not much more. I found it less experimental and colorful than the first album which is not necessarily a vice. Bands are allowed to experiment and take it back, tone it down, change their sound. Bands are allowed to evolve and change and grow into their sound. Never in this album did I ever feel like they didn't sound like themselves. After the twitter fight scare I was thankful we even got one beautiful record from Blossoms. They may have stripped that baroque pop feel they trademarked with their self titled but they still sound like Blossoms. There are few spectacular or stand out tunes on this album to me. I really enjoyed the two singles already out, I really enjoyed "Cool Like You," "Giving Up The Ghost," and "Stranger Still." The deluxe version of the album includes acoustic versions which are beautiful and nice to listen to.
The album was definitely solid it didn't fall flat but it also didn't do too much for me. Hopefully when they take it on the road, do more interviews and promo, as they release more music videos i anticipate that things will pick up and we can see their personalities leak into their work more. I don't know if this album is enough to break America if they even desire to do that right now. I know the fan reaction in the UK will be huge. We wish them the best! And when they do decide to debut stateside, Lately will be on it.
Cool Like You: 6/10