Lead single The Waves is more daring still, its sparse beat-driven opening and apocalyptic lyrics recalling latter-day Radiohead. It fizzes with drama and excitement as O’Brien imagines (and identifies with) waves crashing down on humanity and eradicating “well-insulated bigotry”. Befitting the theme, the music reaches a furious crescendo which is as powerful as the climax of any Hollywood disaster movie. This fury at the self-righteous and the narrow-minded is found throughout the album – the deceptively catchy Judgement Call is a coruscating attack on “the clean, and the right and the chosen ones” who “gotta get the kids before they grow/God forbid they retain their sense of wonder.” Grateful Song, meanwhile, is an ode to adversity and the conviction which arises from it – a conviction which O’Brien hopes will save him should he “”forgo a love for my brothers and my sisters with a pledge of allegiance to God.”
My review of the new Villagers album is up.