WORTH A LOOK?: ****1/2
TRACKLIST: Shadows; I Don’t Know What’s Cool Anymore; Back Of My Bike; Goldmine; Sing A Song; Sometimes; Now You Know; The Answer; I’d Rather Die
‘Got a UK deal before we finished school, Moved to East London and tried to be cool,
Top ten felt like picking a cherry, Wearing free sneaks in the pub with Katy Perry.’
- Read on for reasons including why you should see Alphabeat live in the UK in April
If Alphabeat were a musical Sing A Song (quoted above), the stand out track from new fourth album Don’t Know What’s Cool Anymore, would be its heart because it reflects on the journey from obscurity in Denmark to pop fame and a record deal in east London.
We caught the band on their London comeback gig this summer and observed then: ‘Sing A Song‘s lyrics seem a little autobiographical and the band are held in such esteem by their ardent fanbase that tonight feels very much a celebration of the past but also an early blast of the joys that are to come.’
Ageing is also referenced in Sing A Song as it is on potential song of the year, the Max Martin meets Arctic Monkeys pop thrash of title track I Don’t Know What’s Cool Anymore, a Song Of The Month for us recently.
If the album had a musical template, its golden thread seems to be tambourine-rattling, 60s beat combos with Goldmine sounding the most raw and recalling the pop prime of The Doors.
It’s quite a shift from the monster pop hits with which they made their name including Fascination and Boyfriend but won’t be a huge surprise to anyone who has seen them live (and if you haven’t you’re missing out) in the last 10-plus years because they’ve always had a great deal more to them than the hits (as joyous as they are).
Will they return easily to the international success that years ago once seemed so theirs rightfully?
Recent appearances on Strictly’s It Takes Two (watch below) and Graham Norton (watch above) would indicate it still appears to be a priority and certainly well within their grasp if the world hasn’t quite moved on from them.
At nine songs and 27 minutes, Don’t Know What’s Cool Anymore never outstays its welcome and, if you want more Alphabeat in your life, check them out with us live on tour in the UK in 2020.
It’s an album that’s definitely one of the most surprising, uplifting and fun pop highlights of 2019.