The Thrills : Lets Bottle Bohemia

The anticipation rides high prior to listening to The Thrills sophmore effort, Lets Bottle Bohemia. Would these Dubliners return to the familiar retro AM gold harmonies on their 2003 debut So Much For The City or fly opposite to the point of reinvention? Was that sunshine pop filled with helpings of “California Dreaming” the real Thrills or a debut gimmick?

Lets Bottle Bohemia,proves The Thrills possess a knack for creating pensive harmony in a Brian Wilson meets Coldplay marriage of orchestrated pop. Featuring string arrangements on “Not For All The Love In The World” and the ten minute “The Iron Gates Keep Crashing,” the Thrills appear content on bonding the shinier elements of production with matted hair rock.

The sticky piano rocker, “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know,” starts things off immediately where So Much For The City left off, with mouthfuls of oohs and aahhs over a rich sound girdled by the fragile, high pitch vocals of Conor Deasy. A striking highlight is the gyrating “Whatever Happened to Corey Haim” perhaps The Thrills greatest tour de shimmy yet. Incorporating symphonically funky strings and a driving beat, it’s a Jamiroquai dance syle number delivered in this ode to celebrity over-exposure. Aside from the string sections, special guests include R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck who lends guitar work to the mopey pop of “Curse Of Comfort,” while “Faded Beauty Queens” drives on similar down and out lyrical themes of prior Thrills tunes, with perpetual oohs and ahhs.

The album continually builds within the now trademark Thrills sound, but takes a darker and more proven edge. Although the lyrics are proven sparse, there’s a gleam of substance beneath the minimal words and yes, ooohs and ahhhs. The Thrills top criticism to date was they sounded too much like their idols: Neil Young, The Beach Boys and Beatles. Lets Bottle Bohemia sounds almost entirely familiar again, so the mix of these influences are now welcomed at the real Thrills, even with all the ooohs and ahhs.

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