It’s been three years since Grouplove released an album and their third record, Big Mess, hit shelves with giant expectations. Unfortunately, the groups efforts didn’t quite meet the lofty level that the indie-pop sensations set for themselves.
Over the years, Grouplove has found a niche in the festival ready indie music that Coachella/Bonnaroo goers crave. Their first two albums brought numerous indie anthems in “Tongue Tied,” “Itchin’ On A Photograph” and “Ways To Go.” Up to this point, Grouplove has done well to give each track its own identity although the formula has stayed relatively the same. Big Mess follows suit in that the L.A. natives begin the record with their booming hit “Welcome To Your Life.”
The strongest track leads off the album, which is a reoccurring theme when it comes to Grouplove’s art. It’s almost a given that the track will infect radio waves soon enough and is bound to feature in a commercial or two in the coming weeks. It’s a catchy and heartfelt song dedicated to vocalists, Hannah Hooper and Christian Zucconi’s child.
The catchiness continues with “Do You Love Someone.” The distinction between the chorus and verses is dynamic, much like tracks of their past – “Ways To Go.” There’s an explosion of pop vibes once the chorus hits and it’s simply a fun, colorful song and one of the strongest. “Enlighten Me” is softer and peaceful in its approach – and also the band’s favorite.
Lyrically this song is about not being able to digest anything in my life in the moment—maybe ever—’I don’t feel my life is real’ says it all. I want to be awake more so I’m workin on it. I want to be enlightened. Don’t we all.
“Good Morning” is a quintessential Grouplove track and possesses all the foot-tapping and head-bobbing ingredients. The front end of the album is fantastic, however after “Spinning,” Big Mess goes off in a different direction with “Cannonball.” It doesn’t fit with the vibe that Grouplove and Big Mess carry and ultimately throws off the trajectory of the album. The following four tracks round out the album and just don’t hold as much value as their counterparts. Instead of interspersing the low points throughout the record, they’re stored in Big Mess‘s caboose. Perhaps to the average listener, they’re hidden in the back, but as a whole, Big Mess doesn’t quite live up to Grouplove’s indie superstar reputation.