June 22, 2010

Frightened Rabbit - The Winter of Mixed Drinks

The Winter of Mixed Drinks is a good album. And that’s the biggest flaw that I can find with it. On one hand, it’s good, but on the other, it’s just good. Virtually nothing really stood out on the first, second, or third listen.

Song-by-song, this album is great. All thirteen tracks are well crafted and have nice little tunes. The Scots mix it up with some fast songs and slow songs and some electronic and some acoustic. So then what’s the problem?

Drinks has a way of fading into the background. Whether it is coming through your headphones, or being played through a stereo, it loses your attention after just a couple tracks. If you take the liberty of buying just a couple songs and playing them independently, you won’t regret it, especially if you pick up great songs like Things, Swim Until You Can’t See Land, The Loneliness, or my favorite, Living in Colour.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where Frightened Rabbit makes a major mistake. Track-by-track it’s hard to find a problem. Each song makes me want to say “Eh, not bad.”

Thus, The Winter of Mixed Drinks is an album that may confuse a listener, as each song is likable, but after just a couple they may drive you nuts. If you’re a Frightened Rabbit fan and you’re used to this, go ahead, but other listeners, be warned.

I could make some guesses and try to get much more technical about why this is, about track placement and such, but the bottom line is The Winter of Mixed Drinks is a bunch of great songs, not a great album.

Frightened Rabbit’s latest effort earns a complicated five stars out of ten.


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