To write one album in which all the songs sound the same is quite a feat, to do said task twice is quite impressive.
There has definitely been a change in Blossoms’ style, however; the synth sounds have become way more influenced by the 80’s. To be honest, it just sounds like keyboardist Myles Kellock has watched too much Stranger Things and got himself stuck in a vortex. The only difference is his attempts to create creepy, tension-filled synth tones are subpar at best and don’t fit in with Tom Ogden’s overly sweet vocals or the guitar parts laid down by Ogden and Josh Dewhurst.
One of the main issues with Cool Like You as an album is that it is virtually impossible to work out which song is which. The lyrics seem to all be about a relationship (or a relationship breakdown) and the melodies all either start with a fuzzy synth tone or drumbeat for a bar or two before the whole band kick in, then inevitably about halfway through the song there is a breakdown and all we hear is Ogden’s sickly voice before the whole band kick in again playing the same stuff they have for the whole song. While aware this is basic song structure, that’s part of the problem – it’s so basic. Blossoms are a band who inexplicably got nominated for the Mercury Prize last year and they don’t seem to have realised that that will lead to critics looking at their music much closer. The worst thing Blossoms could have done is release an album slightly too early in the album cycle, with bad PR and 11 songs that have basic song structure where not a single not stray offbeat at all but that is exactly what they’ve done. There are no interesting rhythms, no challenging harmonies and everything just sounds like it was made in a factory and polished highly before being let out of the forecourt.
Technically speaking Blossoms are clearly good musicians; they can play in time and in tune and as a cohesive unit but sometimes that isn’t enough. When you’re a band who gets as much attention and money thrown at you I cannot understand why you wouldn’t try to create something interesting. Ogden’s lyrics are quite frankly awful and at times unintelligible, during ‘Unfaithful’ he actually sounds like he’s singing “I’m faithful”, and at one point says “it’s okay, I didn’t do drugs” which is both a rubbish lyric and a clear lie. It sounds like something a 16-year-old would say to their mum after coming back from a house party with pupils the size of ping-pong balls.
Sadly, Cool Like You is exactly what you would expect from a Blossoms album. It’s a repetitive but cheery summery half an hour of music. If you want something to put on in the background that you don’t have to think about then this is the album if you want to listen to something interesting and of substance then you might want to stay away.