The Bravery have been trying to come out with a break through album since their self-titled debut in 2005. While their newest album isn’t exactly riveting, it is not horrendous either. “Stir the Blood” is a solid album, but unremarkable – which unfortunately, has become all too familiar for The Bravery.
It is hard to believe at one point The Bravery was at once on par with the likes of the Killers in terms of romantic dance rock bands. But since that time, The Bravery have seemingly been long forgotten in the public eye, especially after the disastrous album “The Sun and the Moon.” However, once front man Sam Endicott came out as the writer of Shakira’s hot new track “She Wolf,” all eyes turned to The Bravery for their third album, “Stir the Blood.”
Further tarnishing the hype and curiosity the band received with their debut album, “Stir the Blood” is more of the same. Deviating from the style of their second album, The Bravery returns here to their niche of electronic dance rock, which was a much needed improvement. In general, these songs lack the enthusiasm or the spirit to draw listeners into that brand of poppy indie rock which The Bravery champions.
The first track encompasses a lot of the problems with the album. The track starts off with energetic electronic guitar rifts which are followed by a promising introduction of a background drum beat and vocals. Unfortunately, however, the promise of a riveting song is quickly put to rest by the unclear, mumbled, lack-luster vocals that sound separated from the track itself. “Adored” is a classic example of The Bravery exhibiting a lot of potential, and a lot of reasons why they should be loved, while still falling short of anything remotely remarkable due to some lack of vitality in the vocals. It is a tragedy to see a such a stellar track be reduced to mediocrity.
It should also be mentioned that despite the flawed and lackluster vocals, The Bravery have put out a decent album, with some very solid tracks. For one, the melodies are almost hypnotizing, especially in “I Am Your Skin.”
If “Adored” epitomizes why The Bravery has had such a hard time releasing a breakthrough album, let alone a hit single, “I Am Your Skin” is the reason why this band has a very steady fan base. The track starts out with the usual electronic guitar riff – except this riff is more upbeat and leans towards a more pop sound than rock. The result is a contagious melody which lays the foundation for the entire track. The best way to describe this song is as a mix between U2 and the Killers, which is a dangerous combination. Even with the semi-flawed vocals, “I Am Your Skin” gradually becomes an energetic, catchy, and inspired track. If only the rest of the album could have followed suit.
All in all, “Stir the Blood” is a good album, and has some promising tracks. However, as long as the inspired electronic melodies are compromised by lackluster and disappointing vocals, The Bravery will never be able to produce a standout album. It seems that until that day comes, The Bravery is destined to only reach the heights of decent. Don’t bother buying “Stir the Blood,” just download the tracks that matter.