Los Campesinos!, 'Romance Is Boring' (Arts & Crafts)

7
Romance Is Boring
Critical Mass
Label: Arts & Crafts

by Josh Modell

It's fun, if slightly jarring, to hear this infectiously hyperactive indie crew stretch out a little. Romance, their third album in 24 months, is more slickly assured -- and far less twee -- than its predecessors. At one end, the cacophonous "Plan A" gets blatantly cranky, and at the other, "Who Fell Asleep In" might be loosely called a ballad. (Fear not, the British septet's cheery, breathless indie pop is still present in "There Are Listed Buildings" and a few stirring others.) A through-line remains in singer Gareth Campesinos' sharp wit and empathetic ear for language: He's one of the most touchingly sarcastic lyricists to emerge in years.

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