I Used To Be A Sparrow

You Are An Empty Artist

Written by: BV on 09/03/2013 20:17:10

The last time I heard the name I Used To Be A Sparrow I was immediately struck by associations to bands like Coldplay and U2, and I honestly believed IUTBAS to be ’just another heavily influenced band’ of these particular artists. While this is certainly still the case soundwise, I feel as though IUTBAS have improved on many levels since my previous encounter with them. The sound of their new album “You Are An Empty Artist” is still heavily influenced by the lofty, sparkly rock of Coldplay etc. but the band behind the music has matured along with their songwriting skills, which gives the music a certain sense of credibility – one I felt was missing when last reviewing them.

As such, the album opener “Laura” is still very much Coldplay X&Y-era sounding, yet it retains the sound of an ambitious band that hasn’t yet made it to the big leagues – something I personally feel has been lacking on recent Coldplay releases. “Laura” isn’t the world’s most complicated song - as a matter of fact it is quite accessible. With its delay-laden guitar parts, minimalistic rhythm work and the downplayed though surprisingly pleasant-sounding vocals this song is exactly what a band like this should sound like – no beating around the bush, just a straightforward stadium sounding pop-rock/alternative rock song.

Moving further along the album, I stumble upon a track I am not particularly fond of. The name of the track is “Cannonball” and the reason for my, shall we say disinterest in the track is actually quite peculiar in itself. While I previously stated that the track “Laura” was exactly how I wanted a track of this genre to sound, I didn’t take diversity of the tracks into account. While “Laura” is near perfect to me, I do still seek some variation on albums and to me “Cannonball” is just too reminiscent of the track “Laura” for me to really get into it, not in terms of chord progressions or lyrics, but more in terms of the mood. A truly powerful album is, to me, an album that gradually evolves and often evokes new feelings and moods in the listener, and “Cannonball” is not exactly helping in that respect.

That however, was one of my most negative aspects of this album, and as such I must say that IUTBAS has come a long way since their debut album. I’ve taken a far greater liking to this album than the previous one and I highly recommend fans of sparkly alternative rock to get their hands on this album – or at least spare a couple of minutes to hear a song or two from it. I think it’ll hit the spot if this is the type of music you’re craving.


Download: Laura, Submarine, Warpaint On Invisible Children
For The Fans Of: Coldplay, U2, Angels & Airwaves
Listen: facebook.com

Release Date 15.03.2013
Paper Wings Records

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