Tuesday, February 18th, 2020

Blossoms – The Keeper

“Keep it,” more like…


Scott Mildenhall: The sheer unselfconscious, unpretentious pop-mindedness of Blossoms is continually refreshing, and unsurprisingly just what radio programmers want. There seems an almost perfect through-line between Ian Broudie’s association with The Coral and James Skelly’s association with them, and “The Keeper” keeps it running. Its joy is an antidote to a pop landscape so lacking in sun that the world risks rickets, its sentiments pared down to the purest remedy. That’s not to say it lacks lyrical instincts — the elemental “until we’re bones” displays the band’s leftward eye on top of their melodic ear — but Blossoms’ primary concern, quite generously, appears to be raising spirits.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: A song this cheery feels strange in 2020, like it was jettisoned from some prelapsarian era. My knee-jerk annoyance tells me that maybe I should appreciate its existence. “The Keeper” survives its runtime strictly because of its optimism — I’m envious.

Tim de Reuse: Peppy kitsch so committed to an ultra-sleek, historically-revised britpop aesthetic that it forgets to have any other attributes at all. It’s that one guy at the office whose infallible Monday-morning cheer gets under your skin. It tastes like a sugar cube.

Edward Okulicz: What a capital knees-up this was going to be until it went wrong: the choir is ick, and Tom Ogden’s voice has an air of defeat about it that goes against the choir, which is also ick.

Thomas Inskeep: Yeah, the world definitely needs more singles by British rock bands anchored in piano, featuring gospel choirs. Definitely.

Alfred Soto: This mass-chorused bilge became a quaint anachronism n 2014, no? No?

Oliver Maier: Thank you, Blossoms, for keeping my faint nostalgia for cheesy pop rock dominance in check with this simpering, underwritten rubbish. The world does not need another Take That.

Ian Mathers: Sonically this is nothing if not nice — that piano, that choir, those subtle strings, sure. I just wish the whole vibe didn’t remind me of a bunch of America-loving Brit bands that the NME I read as an addled youth wasted so much breath praising, and that the lead singer’s affect didn’t somehow strike me as tiresome. The result is that whenever we get to “let’s spend this life as one/until we’re bones” it registers to me as bathetic, which I assume isn’t the goal.

Brad Shoup: I’m constantly fooled by barreling piano pop, and I’m overrating this accordingly. (Is this an example of pedal point, or is that four-on-the-floor piano/bass stomp cheating?) This is worship pop, or perhaps a testament to the influence of the “All These Things That I’ve Done” bridge. Incredible whiff, not titling this “Until We’re Bones” though.

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