Hannah Reid, Dan Rothman and Dominic ‘Dot’ Major are the trio that make up London Grammar who release their second studio album Truth Is A Beautiful Thing, an enticing title. Rooting For You, the first single and opening track of the album, is fully captivating for the ebb and flow of cinematic soundscapes and Reid’s powerful vocal delivery demonstrating secure technique from the depths of her alto soul to the upper angelic range she possesses. If this track does not make the hair on your arms stand, then you’re possibly an android.
This sound is absolutely enthralling at the start, however London Grammar seldom veer from this throughout Truth Is A Beautiful Thing therefore taking a sound so powerful and reducing it to the background blend in its lack of variety and development. As much as I adore the mesmerizing sound that they produce, overall the album becomes a little monochrome in its emotional and musical range.
In the tracks that they do step out of this comfort zone and the breadth of their creativity is explored my attention immediately returns, undivided. Big Picture’s spirited percussion gives it all a lift. Leave the War With Me (my favorite track on the album for sure) steps away from their cine-sound. The smooth movement of the syncopated harmonic changes along with the light touch, cymbal cheering drum line and Reid’s almost mystic voice is a moving combination. I want to hear more of this from them.
I also felt that the influence of big name indie and alternative UK artists; Muse, Massive Attack, Radiohead, Florence And The Machine and Zero 7, was too strong. London Grammar are definitely headed in the right direction, but could do more to develop and rework their music into something that is truly and only theirs. They have the talent for sure.