A great second album from Cornish band.
Formed in the sleepy Cornish town of Penzance in 2001, (the band's own description I hasten to add) Thirteen Senses seem to be a band who snuck in quietly through the back when they should have been banging and hollering at the front door. The reason I say this is that I anticipated nothing more than average from their second album 'Contact', and instead I experienced an album of solid English indie.
The opener and title track ambles along in exactly the right way and is easily as anthemic as Coldplay's 'Yellow'. The melody and harmony are breezy and call to mind a cool spring day in the country. And when such vibrant images reach you when you're indoors, in the suburbs and in very humid weather conditions, you know you've found a pretty reliable record. 'All the Love in Your Hands' is an urgent sounding song with a rapidly increasing pulse. The band consciously decided to make their second effort more of a rock album and that certainly shows in their swift blend of indie-rock. The songs have the quality of anthems and yet manage to stay succinct in length, something that always delights this particular listener.
'Animal' shifts between a drum propelled sound and a more anguished, softer approach, adding another layer to a rapidly evolving album. 'Call Someone' continues in this direction with a lovelorn excursion into the pain of being left behind. 'Follow Me' bursts into a rollicking intro and is altogether lighter in tone than its two brooding predecessors. The change of mood is welcome before things get too sombre and the alteration works effortlessly. The majority of the songs here are built around a strong chorus, which makes it easy to imagine them in a live setting before enraptured fans.
'Under the Sun' is one of the weaker songs featured here, but there is little to criticise besides the fact that it fails to stand out amongst stronger efforts.
Although this album falters somewhat towards the end when several songs blend together, overall it is surprising in its strength, and should, if the indie playing field were fair, see Thirteen Senses gaining a much higher profile. If that doesn't happen the band can at least take solace in the fact that they've crafted an album to rival and surpass their bland contemporaries like Keane, Athlete and Coldplay.