Two Door Cinema Club – Keep On Smiling

An exuberant return from the group...

Northern Irish indie-electro-pop trio Two Door Cinema Club are renowned for their driving melodies, uplifting hooks and extravagant guitar licks, so it’s not surprising to see all of this but so much more in abundance throughout their fifth studio album ‘Keep On Smiling’. 

Spoiler alert! There’s a foray of experimentation – nu-disco and electro-funk amongst others, but there’s still nods to the legacy genres that has cemented them as infectious indie rock stalwarts.

‘Blue Light’ the second track off the album (which follows an instrumental composition ‘Messenger AD’ which sounds like a fusion of the theme tune from 80s TV show The Equaliser and Stranger Things) is an indie-electronica triumph and is a stylish and uplifting track that is certain to get you on the dancefloor.

There’s more touches of their indie roots on ‘Feeling Strange’ and ‘Wonderful Life’ which is an anthemic and infectious track that you can imagine being a superb contender for yet another TV advert: “Take back your wonderful life / The more the life to love much better / We say it all of the time, the time is now / It’s now or never…”

In the words of Ferris Bueller: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” This is definitely reflected in lead single ‘Lucky’ which reflects upon how quickly things can change in life and trying to find their way in a fractured society. “I can feel the change / Holding onto little pieces of what remains…”

The synth-laden and funky ‘Won’t Do Nothing’ is a standout electro-funk, nu-disco-esque bop that talks of making a stand and ‘making a plan’ –  “I said something that I can’t take back, it’s looking like I’m staying right on track…” The experimentation on ‘Little Piggy’ is a bass-driven, clap-along, bluesy delight that soars and thrills which feels like it could be the sonic love-child of INXS and Prince. 

Punchy, peppy, and undeniably positive, ‘Keep On Smiling’ is an exuberant and life-affirming ambitious album that demonstrates that if in doubt, you have to choose happiness.

7/10

Words: Emma Harrison

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