Album Review: The Subways – Money and Celebrity

Album number three by this English power –pop/rock band sees them treading water.

It’s been three years since the Subways released their sophomore album All or Nothing. In that time, the band have spent considerable time touring the record, and also working away in the studio recording the follow-up record. At the same time, the very face of the music industry has changed, with many of the guitar bands that once dominated the charts being replaced with pop and R n’ B artists. So in this these harsher times, is the band’s music still as relevant as it once was….

… Unfortunately the answer to this question is no. When the band burst onto the music scene in 2005, they were heralded as the UK’s answer to the White Stripes, and this comparison was valid due in part to the fact that they were writing memorable rock songs such as Rock & Roll Queen which lasted under three minutes. The band are still using this formula on their latest album, but after six years and three records, this formula is beginning to feel stale.

The band latest effort Money and Celebrity, sees the band deal with two subjects: money and the celebrity obsessed culture we live in. Opening tracks It’s a Party! And We Don’t Need Money To Have a Good Time are the most obvious examples of the band dealing with these topics, with the band stating “Not gonna be the fools who don’t know who they are, Not gonna be the fools who say blah blah blah” highlighting the record major issue – the poor lyrics.

While I am not usually one for overly criticising band’s lyrics, I feel that when a band decide to try and tackle somewhat serious and topical issues, the lyrics of the songs should be insightful and offer some fresh take on the topics being discussed. The track non Money and Celebrity offer neither of these things.

The other major issue with the record is that the tracks on the record lack the band’s trademark knack for writing memorable guitar hooks. While there are a few exceptions to this rule such as Its a Party! and Kiss Kiss Band Bang, the majority of the tracks feel like they were written by a band going through the motions and not really attempting to connect with their listeners.

Before I present my conclusions about the record, make sure to check out the video for We Don’t Need Money To Have a Good Time, which is posted below.

In conclusion, Money and Celebrity is a very disappointing return by the Subways. With the break up of the White Stripes earlier this year, there was a real opportunity for the band to capitalise on this opportunity, as I feel there is a gap in the market for bands such as the Subways. However, based on this effort, I can’t see them being the band to save guitar music.

Score: 5 out of 10.

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