Much of the album’s power lies in the way that Blossoms harness nostalgia.
Label: Virgin EMI
Released: 27th April 2018
Blossoms fans, please breathe a sigh of relief. ‘Cool Like You’ is here, and it delivers everything one might want from a second album. Critically, there’s a healthy smattering of tracks that – at the bare minimum – equal the anthemic-might of earlier releases, such as ‘Charlemagne’ and ‘Honey Sweet’, that appeared on the band’s eponymous debut.
A single listen is all it takes for particular tracks on the new record to latch onto the subconscious. Even the most stubborn music fans will catch themselves murmuring the formidable chorus in ‘Giving Up The Ghost’ during a quiet moment. Who knows, you might even start welling up inexplicably to Tom Ogden lamenting, “I hate leaving the town that owns me…” on ‘Love Talk’, unearthing some unknown, deep-set emotional baggage that could probably do with some acknowledgement.
One thing’s for certain, much of the album’s power lies in the way that Blossoms harness nostalgia, both in their lyrics and the music itself. Synthesisers have been promoted to take a front-seat, with intros on many of the tracks wielding some ultra-spacey riffs, reminiscent of those 80s ballads your mum would have played too loudly in her room as a teenager, as she sat on her bed thinking about that boy she fancies (likely a ‘Mark’, or ‘Simon’). It’s all very Stranger Things, and everybody loves Stranger Things.
The album is as cathartic as it is nostalgic, and although its sentiments are mainly retrospective, even regretful, ‘Cool Like You’ manifests as a synth-clad ‘purge’. On the first listen, the lyrics and tonal influences suggest that the album is a mere token of the past. Yet on the second or third, it becomes clear that ‘Cool Like You’ exists as a very necessary expulsion, of sorts.
The album is a friendly gift, instructing its listeners on the way that acknowledging the past facilitates progression into the future. An auspicious sentiment, especially coming from a band on their second album – it can only be hoped that there’ll be several more. Lily Beckett