London Grammar: Truth Is a Beautiful Thing review – drowns in its own despair

(Ministry of Sound)

The weapon of sadness will never become outmoded in music. Yet four years after their 2m-selling debut record, If You Wait, the vague, theatrical angst of London Grammar’s sound seems dated. Granted, there are genuinely melancholic emotions running throughout – the group have talked about vocalist Hannah Reid’s severe stage fright and the band’s exhaustion after relentless touring. And lyrically, Reid wrestles with the good and bad, truth and lies, the open skies and the pits of hell. Musically, however, the album is one note. Apart from the Disney-like Rooting for You, songs are billowy and vacant, such as Hell to the Liars, which has the hackneyed key changes of a cobbled-together charity single. Their debut had moments of heft, but Truth Is a Beautiful Thing – which might as well be called Chillout Sessions: Ultimate Melancholy – drowns in its own despair.

Watch a live version of Hell to the Liars on YouTube
Harriet Gibsone

The GuardianTramp

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