The Thrills : Teenager

<img src="http://www.qromag.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/07/thethrillsteenager.jpg" alt=" " />Irish alt-poppers turn back the clocks on their third album to re-capture the hope, despair, and energy of their teenage years....
4.9 Virgin
2007 

 Irish alt-poppers turn back the clocks on their third album to re-capture the hope, despair, and energy of their teenage years. The group mixes more cynicism into their sunny pub-rock sound while singer Conor Deasy's signature strain plays into the teenagers' disenchanted innocence.  With adolescent confusion, however, Teenager struggles to find harmony between the inner struggle and the brighter side of life.  

The vast majority of Teenager features shiny, upbeat music and difficult vocals with often-distraught lyrics.  The opening track, "The Midnight Chorus" gallops on a mandolin-driven melody while Deasy mourns the loss of youth.   The first single, "Nothing Changes Round Here" is a pop-radio-friendly ballad despite melancholy lyrics throughout.  The music has a toe-tapping infectiousness, but the vocals don't match, and their opposition straings their power.  Most of the album keeps this same construct, with titles like "I'm So Sorry", "No More Empty Words", and "Should've Known Better".  The music suggests smile, but the lyrics suggest frown, and it's impossible to pick one.

Teenager is a look back on a relatively protected, but opportunity-lacking adolescence.  Deasy expresses the desire to experience more in life, as well as the ultimate disappointment in it, while the music puts a buoyant "at least we tried" positive spin on it all.  The story, in the end, is compelling only to a small audience, and the album reflects that one-dimensional nature.   There isn't quite the musical wholeness of their first two albums, and leaves the question of why bother to dedicate a whole album to these difficult years?

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