Waiting for Something to Happen
Veronica Falls has returned. For me it's one of the most anticipated albums of the year, but I decided to take my time to review it because I wanted to be as objective as possible. I have read some reviews criticizing the band has just repeated its successful formula... and you can't say these opinions aren't justified. But hey! "Waiting for Something to Happen" has 3-4 perfect tunes, another bunch of hyper catchy songs, full of hooks
and in-your-face guitar lines... so how many bands have such a collection of spectacular songs with just two albums? At the end, what's more to ask?
Besides, how am I supposed to resist and remain impartial if the first chords of "Tell Me" immediately makes me think of R.E.M. first albums? 10 seconds and I'm already smiling. Gentle and mellower than usual, this almost whispered opener is as inviting as promising. Damn it, I'm smiling again. Oh, that jangling guitar.
Second tune "Teenage" is the band sounding as their most recognizable, meaning: irresistible guitar-driven upbeat indiepop. One could say they are copying themselves, but please go to hell. And next comes the first knock-out. 2:24 minutes to create a pop masterpiece. That's all what Veronica Falls needs. As simple as that, "Broken Toy" is just disarming.
After a trio of wonders, "Shooting Star" comes as the first surprise (put that under quotation marks). Is the band flirting with grunge? I would say just incorporating some of its soundings to their music palette and making it look completely of their own, fitting with its more obscure side. Not outstanding, but curious.
It gets better immediately. "Waiting for Something to Happen", the song, is to me the second masterpiece of the album. Joyful and chiming, the chorus is pure bliss. And is coupled by the third gem of the album, "If You Still Want Me". What a bridge, what a chorus, defiant, passionate, these guitars resonating in your head. Heard both tunes live, and believe me, its impossible not to dance. Want more? Completing what's arguably the finest moment of the record comes "My Heart Beats", chosen as first single, so heard well in advance. Quintessential Veronica Falls' sound again, vital and uplifting.
Unfortunately, at least for me, "Waiting for Something to Happen" fails
to maintain its impressive amount of hits in its second half. "Everybody's Changing" is Veronica Falls reaching a middle ground. Indeed everything sounds too familiar here. Luckily is followed by "Buried Alive", another outstanding tune, among the sweetest/twee the band has penned and absolutely irresistible. But is the exception on a rather flat album last section.
The final bunch of songs shows us a band striving to diversify its sound, with average results. "Falling Out" is quite flat on that sense, and "So Tired" fails to define itself despite being much more interesting, again making me think of Peter Buck and its chiming guitars but not achieving its promise. Can't say the same about "Daniel", the slowest number of the record, and too short and half-baked to build its own momentum or produce a lasting impression. And final song, "Last Conversation", pales in comparison with debut album final number, the mind-blowing "Come On Over". To be fair, is an enjoyable song as everything Veronica Falls pens, but it borrows too much from its "elder sister", looking like a poorer version of it.
Despite 3-4 forgettable tunes, that makes the album rating a little bit lower than their glorious debut, "Waiting for Something to Happen" offers, again, so many amazing indiepop moments, so I'm very pleased to end this review just saying that Veronica Falls did it again!