A few years back, when all of your favorite bands were releasing their debut albums, so was Brilliant Colors. Except whereas other bands from Slumberland Records, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, were getting their jump to the buzzband title, this band remained relatively unknown. They put out their first release, Introducing, and while receiving decent reviews, it failed to make the same jump to popularity as the other bands of the time. Now, they’re back, with relatively the same sound, trying their luck once more at striking up a following with a successful sophomore record, Again and Again.
Things kick off with “Hey Dan,” which provides the classic dream pop vibe that this whole album spins off of. Immediately, you can pick out the misty, single toned vocals of the female lead singer, Jess, floating high above the catchy guitar riffs and the faded drums. With the crash of the cymbals and the raging guitar, it is infectious music of the shoegazey variety. It’s a strong start, and possibly the strongest song on here. However, later on, there are some other gems like “Hitting Traffic,” or “Back to the Tricks,” that, when listened to on their own, rival the first song with their quality and catchiness.
However, my biggest and only qualm with this record, which may prove too detrimental for listeners, is the repetition and altogether similar songs here. There is sure as hell not a lot of variety, which may work for bands just going with the stellar single approach to the musical world, but it fails for bands like this that don’t have that one to stand above the other. Separately, there are some good songs as aforementioned, but collectively, they all mesh together in one hazy pop blob. In this way, it is far too easy to let this music fall to the background as boring; Brilliant Colors do nothing to entice, to pull you back in, after the first song.
Thus, Again and Again is not necessarily an album in which you end wanting to do what the name suggests. Sure, there isn’t a horrible song on here, but there isn’t a really grand one either. Brilliant Colors have found the mediocre middle of the road, and if that’s what you’re okay with, then, by all means, spend the afternoon with this serene pop record.
Download: Brilliant Colors – How Much Younger [MP3]