Genre: Indie rock, alternative rock

Length: 46.34

Tracks: 12

Origin: Los Angeles, California

Release Date: 2011-09-05


Grouplove’s debut album – Never Trust A Happy Song, has been a long time coming, having first heard the single ‘Colours‘ back in 2010 on a website featuring a compilation of up-and-coming indie rock bands, Grouplove was the one that stuck out for me and unfortunately at the time, Colours along with a ‘Captain Cuts‘ remix version (equally good, incorporating a faster tempo) was the only material available at the time, but regardless I had the words – ‘black, black, green and brown, brown, brown, brown and blue, yellow, violets, red…‘ lodged in my brain for ages.

So the big question is – how does the rest of the album compare to Colours? Well, while Colours remains to be the best song on the album, the other songs aren’t bad at all with lead singer Christian Zucconi’s distinct voice shining through on every track and accentuated with backing vocals by the sweet canary-voiced Hannah Hooper.  Colours has been featured on EA Sport’s Madden NFL 12 and FIFA 12 soundtracks, as well as a Polish beer advertisement.  Other notable songs like Tongue Tied featured on Apple’s iPod Touch commercial.  On December 8, 2011 Tongue Tied debuted on #78 on the Billboard Hot 100, not surprising as the song is both catchy and upbeat (like the majority of the album).  Never Trust A Happy Song is first and foremost a feel-good musical experience (rather ironic given the title of the album), the album’s tempo is fast and seldom diminishes, and even the song Slow picks up rather quickly.  Grouplove fits the indie moniker to a tee with an alternative rock sound that opposes the contemporary sounds of popular music.  The world would be a happier place if more radio stations played this sort of music (not about to hear this on my local radio) but alas it is not so, so if you’re able to, do yourself a favour and get a copy, in the high probability that the album isn’t available in your local music store, I’m sure iTunes can oblige.

Conclusion | Music is subjective, if for instance you have a propensity for the indie genre then odds are you will share my opinion, if not then move on to something else.  Grouplove’s Never Trust A Happy Song is a well-crafted, easy to listen to and pleasant musical experience.  Furthermore, one can always judge the ability and authenticity of a band by its live performance ability and after listening to Grouplove performing Colours on the Letterman show I am glad to see that Zucconi’s distinct voice is his own and not that of auto-tuning processors.  Grouplove is also highly energetic (just follow the Letterman link to see for yourself), and one can clearly see that they’re doing ‘a hundred in a fifty zone’ if I were to put it that way.  If grouplove sounds interesting to you then you can check out more from them on their official site, which includes 90 second samples of each song from their debut album as well as photos and music videos.

Grade: B+