Los Campesinos!, 'Hello Sadness' (Arts & Crafts)

Hello Sadness
Critical Mass
Release Date: November 15, 2011
Label: Arts & Crafts

by Michael Tedder

Los Campesinos! can't stop adorning their odes to existential grief with snappy handclaps, but the Welsh septet are still showing signs of growth on this third album. Keyboards, horns, and strings crescendo harder than ever on the title track, and the interlocking backing vocals of Ellen and (the now-?departed) Harriet Campesinos! soar like an indie glee-club choir on "Songs About Your Girlfriend." But even as he approaches Belle and Sebastian levels of chamber-pop craft, frontman and Morrissey/Malkmus acolyte Gareth always sounds giddy that someone crushed his heart and gave him an excuse ?to write another word-drunk cry of despair.

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