Album Review Two Door Cinema Club - Keep On Smiling

Its wares pick up where its predecessor left off but without adding too much extra to the mix.

Two Door Cinema Club - Keep On Smiling

When indie mainstays Two Door Cinema Club returned in 2019 with fourth LP ‘False Alarm’, they seemed like a band reinvigorated. Sporting a slick new pop art aesthetic and pushing their established earworm formula into stranger territory, it seemed to herald a new era for the trio: a more stylised version of the band who could nod to Devo as much as the ‘00s indie disco. ‘Keep On Smiling’, then, keeps on keeping on - which is to say, its wares pick up where its predecessor left off but without adding too much extra to the mix. Second time around, the bouncing ‘80s synths of ‘Blue Light’ still land but feel familiar rather than fresh; some tracks - the peppy bounce of ‘Lucky’ or lead single ‘Wonderful Life’ - meanwhile just sound like classic Two Door with a different Casio setting. In the pockets where they do deviate from the formula (be that the old or more recent one), there are nods to next steps. ‘Millionaire’’s shoulder-shimmying verses have an aura of ABBA (a good thing), while ‘Won’t Do Nothing’ pits a funky Metronomy bass line with warped, affected vocals and deadpan chants. But Two Door can’t help but explode into a chart-friendly chorus, and as long as they populate almost every song, there’s only so much variation that can occur.

 

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