Single Review: Glasvegas – ‘Shine Like Stars’

“Draws little from the imagination and doesn’t deliver half the emotive impact Glasvegas could’ve hoped for”

2 STARS

Digital Release: July 17, 2011

Physical Release: N/A

There is nothing quite like the ability to turn morale-crippling pain, anguish and terror into something joyous, something – dare I say – spectacular. And to master such a skill with a distinct potency, in the wake of such numinous melodies and powerful lyricism was why, upon the release of their début album, Glasvegas were catapulted into critical acclaim and hailed as one of the defining bands of a new generation. 

And back when Glasvegas were technically an indie band – releasing sloppily-recorded 7” vinyls – the aforementioned qualities were something to be carried forward onto their eponymous début with the help of Rich Costey at the production table. But alas, their second album, the pretentiously titled ‘EUPHORIC /// HEARTBREAK \\\’, wasn’t worthy of such praise. The end result was something a little less-inspired that one could’ve hoped for from such a band who, up until this point, were contented with their imperfections, but it should have been expected, seeing as it’s a typicality of factoring in a record company with their own ideas.

‘Shine Like Stars’ is a moment that typifies that notion, being arguably one of the less forgivable moments of Glasvegas’ history. Produced by Flood, it’s synthesisers, which should be commended on having the great quality of sounding half laid-back, half energetic and never really deciding which to go for, lead on to a chorus of heavily-accented, tuneless wailing, and in Allen’s attempts to feel everyone’s pain – just as he did to more avail in 2008 – you get the impression this ignorant generalisation in which he pleads listeners to “shine like stars do” is, rather than a deeply emotive imploration plucked caringly from the depths of an empathetic heart, more like a cliché you’d expect to hear in an old Walt Disney film.

And when the rhythm and instrumentation jumps from catatonic to more like the canter of a three-legged donkey, expectations are deceivingly raised and left stranded as Glasvegas’ sloppy musicianship fails to satisfy that expectance, and at this point Allen’s lyrics are now comprise of indecipherable caterwauling that’s just painful to listen to.

Glasvegas have tried to follow the formula of their sky-scraping début album, but something somewhere went wrong and ‘Shine Like Stars’, whilst not the biggest sinner, draws little from the imagination and doesn’t deliver half the emotive impact Glasvegas could’ve hoped for due to their harsh assumption of character.

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