You might have seen Canadian group Walk Off The Earth’s cover of Somebody I Used To Know by Gotye on YouTube where all 5 members of the band play the song on one guitar. A completely live recording, the video went viral and has since gathered up over 160 million views. Within their latest album Sing It All Away, we are given the chance to hear the group’s original music and what we find is a mix of alternative rock, reggae and pop.
The first track Rule the World is an instant hit that has all the makings of a successful contemporary pop song. The track is intense with a trumpet hook and Imagine Dragons style vocals. The next track I’ll Be Waiting takes only a lighter sound that brings elements of reggae into the mix. Home We Go moves to a folk style that sounds very much like an Avicii song. The track has a cool banjo style break that catches you off guard but is a great addition to the track. Boomerang is another notable track that has a catchy hook and complex intricate drum beats.
What this album lacks is a real definition in variety. The tracks on this album are either intense rock anthems or light and inspiring pop tunes. They are really great at these both styles, however by the end of the album these styles are exhausted. Many of the songs follow the same sort of idea and formula – an anthem-like track that has layered vocals. Sing It All Away is an example of this as it seems to sound similar in idea and style to Home We’ll Go or I’ll Be Waiting.
Overall, this album ultimately lacks the raw quality that made their cover of Gotye’s song so good. These songs aren’t bad, however they seem to lack an individuality and rather seem to have cliched pop lyrics. There are no imperfections in this album in terms of production or a candid quality that makes the album rough and playful. Without a personal voice in this album, the good songs are disabled from being great.