Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Chap's done a good (but not great) job

The Chap - "Well Done Europe"
Lo Recordings
-out now
3 / 5

The most infectious of these beats, "We Work in Bars," has such a strong chorus that it props up the song just a bit too long; the opposite is the case with much of the rest of "Well Done Europe," London-based The Chap's fourth album. It is good, certainly, but is it great? We're saying no, and while its whimsical instrumentation and somewhat sordid lyrics can etch out a smile here and there, the final verdict is this: there just isn't enough material here (sonically, lyrically) to pull you in and leave a lasting impression. The fondest impression it leaves is, at best, fleeting, but there are still moments to this album: "Nethertheless, The Chap," with its Fol Chen pop-beat, whistling and harmonies; "Obviously" and its retro dance feel. But, as with every review we do, ultimately we've got to decide whether this album is worth your dollar (quid, yuan), and the best measure of that is memory. Not much sticks out here as sheer brilliance, despite the strong effort, and if you had to put "Well Done Europe" in a lineup with Fol Chen, the Talking Heads, and other off-kilter electronic-based bands, The Chap is, well, just another chap. Good, but not good enough for a recommendation.

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