Tuesday, 28 April 2015

The Mowgli's - Kids in Love Album Review

The Californian septet is back with their nostalgia-filled, summery sophomore album (under Photo Finish and Republic Records), appropriately called Kids in Love. Reflecting on the emotional struggles that exist in the eccentric, always-changing worlds of twenty-somethings, Kids in Love feels like a young adult’s diary that is written in melodies and rhythms rather than in scrawled, hasty handwriting.

However, Kids in Love wouldn’t be a Mowgli’s album if it didn’t promote the message of love, world peace, optimism, and kindness; the mantra of the band is essentially “be kind to everyone!” The band’s sophomore effort delivers on this message, smothering listeners in optimism; the Mowgli’s are absolutely relentless with their positivity, and they are determined to kill everyone with their kindness, one listener at a time.

Though this message is certainly met with more than a few cynical, annoyed eye rolls, The Mowgli’s deliver this idealistic ideology in a way that is goddamn catchy. Kids in Love expands on what The Mowgli’s know best: love.

Kids in Love is a more polished version of their major record label debut, Waiting for the Dawn; in their most recent LP, the band relies less on the harmonies that were so overpowering and frequently used on their first album. In Kids in Love, individual members are allowed to standout more as they do not have four or five other voices clambering on top of theirs. However, The Mowgli’s didn’t lose their signature singalong choruses in their new, more mature album. 

The Mowgli’s waste no time to start promoting their inspirational, positive message; starting the album off is “You’re Not Alone”, a song that reassures people that they are, quite frankly, not alone. Whether the listener wants to or not, they are going to feel loved by the end of the album’s 40 kindness-filled minutes. Jokes aside, “You’re Not Alone” works as a fantastic album opener as it hooks listeners in immediately with its infectious clap-along rhythm.

"You’re Not Alone” flows right into the album’s biggest single so far, “I’m Good”. The tune has a more relaxed feel with its light melodic phrases and instrumentation. Complete with a simple, memorable, singalong chorus, The Mowgli’s reassure listeners that if they are living life the way they want to, then they are doing well for themselves.

Starting with a quiet crescendo that climaxes into a ripping, heavier guitar riff that is quite unexpected of the usually acoustic, calm Mowgli’s, “Bad Dream” is one of the more dynamic tracks on the album. “Bad Dream” starts off with loud melodies and stomp-along rhythms, but this high-energy feel is traded in for a slow, psychedelic one during the bridge. The track’s energy returns ten-fold during the last 45 seconds, and because of its drastic changes in speed and mood, “Bad Dream” might be on its way to becoming a fan-favourite.

Transitioning into “What’s Going On?”, yet another relatable track that reflects the confusion of young adults who have no idea what they’re going to do with their lives, Kids in Love never loses its energy (nor its positive message) for the beginning of the album.
Next up is “Through the Dark”, the first single to be released off of the album. At a slower pace than the second single, “I’m Good”, the album’s fifth track then launches into “Whatever Forever” With its singalong chorus and hand-claps, “Whatever Forever” is a phrase that will soon be tattooed on many fans (it’s already inked on a couple of the band members).

“Make it Right” is the slowest, sleepiest track on the new LP, giving it a well-needed breather. Taking a page right out of Waiting for the Dawn, “Make it Right” reverts back to The Mowgli’s comfortable, acoustic style that fans of their previous album have grown accustomed to.
The energy picks up again with the next few tracks, starting with “Love me Anyway”, one of the most unique, dynamic songs on the album. Opening with a catchy rhythm that erupts into the perfect scream-along chorus that is complete with its fair share of indie rock “oohs”, “Love me Anyway” tells the all-too-relatable tale of two less-than-perfect lovers that just might be perfect for each other.

“Love me Anyway” flows perfectly into “Shake me Up”, an infectious tune that could potentially be a new single for the band. Next up is “Home to You”, which has a chorus that pays homage to their debut LP; with its enthusiastic count of “1, 2, 3, 4!” and its laidback feel, “Home to You” sounds like it could belong on Waiting for the Dawn in the best way possible.
The second-last track is “Kids in Love”, which is one of the highlights of the album with the same name. With its fast, dance-y pace, yell-along chorus, and engaging guitar riff, it hooks listeners in immediately as soon as the first note drops. Reminiscing about young love, “Kids in Love” sums up their sophomore effort pretty well.

Closing Kids in Love is the calmer-yet-gloomy “Sunlight”, which brings the album to a jarring halt. With its misty guitar riffs and dreary vocals, the summery spell that the album casts is abruptly broken with a spout of rain. Though “Sunlight” sounds the exact opposite of what its title suggests, there is no better way to end the album than with one of its most interesting tracks.

Kids in Love is a great album for young people that just need reassurance that they are doing the right thing, and who better to hear it from than a great band? Their most recent LP shows a growth and maturity from Waiting for the Dawn, as The Mowgli’s are beginning to experiment with new, heavier styles.
However, their message of love and positivity is not lost within their new sound; in fact, it rings louder and clearer than it ever did before. “I’m Good” sums up their message and the band as a whole perfectly as they sing, “I wanna see another love revolution, I found a way to be a better person. If we come together like we should, we could all be good.”

The Mowgli’s are one of the most selfless, inspiring bands out there, and they are working on creating this love revolution, one catchy LP at a time.


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