Islands' new record, Vapours, is filled with great music and great lyrics, but lacks a really complete feel.
Vapours has a very broad range of sounds. After listening to the songs many times, it feels like some of them are attempts at sounding like other bands. Don't get me wrong. They're darn good attempts. At times the way he sings in Devout reminds me of Modest Mouse. The refrain in Vapours strikes me as an old R.E.M tune. And On Foreigner, why that even sounds like a tune off Grizzly Bear's album Veckatimest! Heartbeat - Kanye attempt-vocals, anyone?
Maybe if you read that previous paragraph and were like Grizzly Bear, Modest Mouse, I have no idea what he's talking about. Then this very well could be a fantastic album for you. The lyrics are great, the music styles vary incredibly, and there is very little fluff on this album. Maybe one filler song (see Heartbeat).
Even having listened to Grizzly Bear, Modest Mouse, and R.E.M, and (unwillingly) Kanye, this still finds a way to grasp me. Overall it makes me wonder what Islands' sound actually is.
And although Islands' most recent effort might not make my extremely prestigious and highly selective (note: sarcasm) top albums of '09, Vapours and Devout are two of my favorite songs in a while, and will definitely be in the running for the even more impressive and influential top tracks of '09.
Vapours earns a fair seven out of ten.