Sunday, 22 August 2010

Album Review: One Night Only - One Night Only

Album: One Night Only
Artist: One Night Only
Singles: Say You Don't Want It, Chemistry, All I Want (free download)

After hearing the fantastic first single Say You Don't Want It around two months ago, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this album. Boasting a new 80s-influenced electronic sound with the synths becoming far more prominent in this album than their debut, the band return with a stunning album that really shows off their talent. The album is filled with potential singles, with all their instruments being turned up to eleven.

Say You Don't Want It
The immense first single hurtles along at incredible pace. This song sums up everything the album is keen to show off; powerful drums and guitar, the new synth-based sound, and a massive chorus to top it all off. The lyrics sound quite basic, but they work in a different way in that they stick in your head. A brilliant album opener, which should get you ready for the rest of the album.

Bring Me Back Down
Guitars and drums announce the arrival of another stadium-bound anthem, before settling down into a song that is occasionally laid-back but then changes for a heavier, rockier chorus to rear its head. However, at just over three minutes, it's over too soon. But never mind, here comes...

Forget My Name
The best song on offer here, in my opinion. Like Say You Don't Want It, it wastes no time getting going. One second in and all the instruments (bar vocals) are working at full capacity, and this sounds like it was built to played at a stadium. It's one of the more rockier songs on the album, and it would be criminal not to release it as a single - it's mindblowing.

Four songs in and I think I'm already in love with this album - but I remembered the band's debut, which I loved, but felt that all the best songs were thrown in at the start. Thankfully, this album's still going strong (and keeps it up). This song is the second single, and while I think Forget My Name would have been a better choice for second single, this one deserves it all the same. It's similar to Bring Me Back Down in that it sounds quite relaxed in the verses, and then turns into an epic, storming chorus complete with backing vocals.

Never Be The Same
Although now the album gives the listener a bit more room to breathe after four massive songs, this song remains an epic masterpiece. A beautiful, etheral synth sound starts up, and the first minute of the song really highlights singer George Craig's vocals. Then after the chorus of "All these clouds, high above you, I guess it's gonna rain...", a fast-paced, powerful drumbeat turns up. The song just goes up and up from there. It's probably not single material, but it is absolutely magnificent nonetheless.

All I Want
This song is great, despite not bringing anything new to the table. Maybe that's because I've grown used to it as it was a free download over a month ago, but it was a good choice for a free download as it showcases everything the album is about. The vocals are probably the best part of this song (even though everything remains at a very high standard), particularly during the chorus of "All I want is something to believe in, even if it's just to hear your name...".

Got It All Wrong
Over halfway already? What? How did that happen? Anyway... This song is quite frenetic with a racy drumbeat and another huge chorus, as well as being the longest song on offer this album at four and a half minutes. I really like this song, but it is the weakest on the album for me. But it's very hard to pick out a least favourite song, as they're all excellent!

Again, the band throw the listener straight in at the deep end with everything crashing over everything else to create another outstanding song. Like most of this album, the song was designed to be massive, and it delivers. As usual, the hook is incredibly memorable and catchy, this time with lyrics of "We could have anything, they make us all believe..." This would definitely be a good choice for a later single.

Nothing Left
One of my favourites, it sounds slightly calmer than the last couple of tracks. In my opinion, along with Never Be The Same, the lyrics are at their peak here, and the vocals are also fantastic particularly during the bridge ("Cos I don't understand it, I always thought I would...") and the chorus ("No matter what, I'll never let you go"). The opening lyric of the song seems like a great way to describe the changes between the debut album (Started A Fire) and this one - "Don't want to stand still, gotta move ahead..." And also, the title of the song hasn't simply been lifted from the chorus for once! (I don't really care, though). It leaves a lasting impression, and is definitely one of the best on the album.

Feeling Fine
The penultimate track sounds quite poppy, with guitars only really making an appearance in the chorus, although it does turn up here and there. It's another fast song, and it feels like one last burst of energy before a slightly calmer last track (although that also has its moments). Speaking of which, it's hard to believe you've been through ten tracks; the album races past so fast. Then suddenly this song ends abruptly as the synths bring in the final song:

Can't Stop Now
The album ends with a song that starts off slow and builds up and up before a piano closes the whole masterpiece of an album down. Once again, the fast-paced drums that come in after about a minute really carry the song, a feature noticeable all over the album. And then the final note on the piano is played, and the album comes to a peaceful end.

At first I thought self-titling the album was rather unimaginative, but I now think it was done because with this reinvention, they have become the band they always should have been. Their debut was very good, in my opinion, but compared to this, a lot of the songs lacked a certain kick to really get them going, and the band have taken this on board and created one of the best albums I've heard all year. Since I love all eleven tracks and the two petty criticisms I have either don't really bother me or don't have a bearing on the music itself (The criticisms are that a) The lyrics are rather simple, but they really leave a mark and are very memorable, so it really doesn't make a difference to me, and b) The album never calms down, but it keeps up the pace fantastically and never gets boring, and the songs are all brilliant anyway), I will happily give this album a 10/10.


Previous albums: Started A Fire (9/10)

These reviews have not been written by a professional reviewer, but they are instead my own opinions on the songs released. Details may not be as well researched, and I have no access to press releases, etc. which may help me judge the quality of the album. I am just an amateur writer and music fan.

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