Review : The Temper Trap - Temper Trap
Paste MagazineThe Temper Trap to reintroduce themselves: A self-titled album. A new, confident sound. As the blaring synths open their would-be international hit “Need Your Love,” you can almost hear them discussing how “using synthesizers” would be a great way to reinvent themselves. To be fair, their debut LP Conditions was as safe a Euro-rock album as one could make. Furthermore, “Love Lost” probably wasn’t any less juvenile and repetitive than their new single “Need Your Love.” The vulnerability of Mandagi’s shaky vibrato had been unique enough to keep people from paying too much attention to the lyrics—but some redefining of the band still sounded like a good idea.
What we’ve got with this new album is an attempt at capitalizing on the band’s successes by making everything about their sound more radio-friendly—and that’s exactly my impression of how these songs sound. A lot of the personality and sincerity that came along with Mandagi’s vocals has been traded out for a boisterous, in-your-face helping of tuned vocals that resemble just about every band out there dreaming of packing out stadiums like U2 and Coldplay. ...full text
GuardianReleased at the end of 2008, the Temper Trap's simultaneously epic and fragile Sweet Disposition single peaked inside the UK Top 10, was covered by Ellie Goulding in the Radio 1 Live Lounge and cropped up on nearly every TV ident going (from a Sky Sports advert to Channel 4's V
Festival coverage to soundtracking a montage sequence on the Big
Brother 10 finale). Its ubiquity overshadowed most of the follow-up singles from their debut album, Conditions, but helped the album sell over half a million worldwide, quite an achievement for a new guitar band.
Anyway, that's all in the past and with Need Your Love – the first single from their self-titled follow-up and premiered here exclusively – they've obviously decided to ditch the slow burn anthems for something more immediate, and it suits them. Over big squelchy synths and pounding drums, Need Your Love is a festival-ready anthem that seems joyful on the surface but is about the painful disintegration of singer Dougy Mandagi's relationship, it's sky high chorus sure to be fairly ubiquitous come the summer....full text
CmjFew bands would complain about having a world-conquering smash hit single on a debut album. “Sweet Disposition” off of Australian group the Temper Trap’s Conditions took the band from just another indie-pop group to expansive notoriety, thanks in large part to Dougy Mandagi’s sweet falsetto voice. But massive success from one song can sometimes cause growing pains, especially as the band tries to define its place in the music world. Three years later, the Temper Trap has released a very different self-titled second album.
When a band self-titles anything but its debut album, it usually serves as a message of intent: “This is what we are ACTUALLY about.” Perhaps in an attempt to show us who they really are, the members of Temper Trap ditch much of Conditions’ warmth for a harsher edge. Oh, and, if you are hoping for Mandagi’s beloved soaring falsetto to dominate, you will be sorely disappointed....full text
NMEThe sad fact is, the quintet’s debut gave them two-nights-at-the-KOKO success that was beyond anything they ever really deserved, and it wasn’t because of the production techniques. It was the combination of the frequently stunning falsetto warble of singer Dougy Mandagi and, of course, the song ‘Sweet Disposition’. Let’s not be shy about it, it’s a song so good it’s managed to remain untarnished despite the fact it’ll forever be intrinsically linked with multi-activity family holidays. And the only way The Temper Trap can trample notions of being one-hit wonders is with a second album that refuses to be squashed and squeezed into never-ending Coldplay-isms, as the first one was.
A second album full of songs of ‘Sweet Disposition’’s quality would see Sillitto’s wish for the band to be loud again come true. So what’s happened? Well, they’ve talked a lot about their love of pasting ’80s-style synths over everything in the build-up to ‘The Temper Trap’, but apart from the shimmering keyboards of ‘Trembling Hands’ it’s barely noticeable. Inessential electronic sounds flop over songs such as opener ‘Need Your Love’ like unneeded napkins, never forming the spine of anything nor replacing the guitar lines. In doing so they expose a lack of confidence and ideas. ...full text
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