Kodaline ‘comes up for air’ in new album

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Album cover art for Kodaline’s “Coming Up for Air”.

With Indie Rock band, Kodaline’s previous album, “In a Perfect World”, topping the Irish album charts in 2013, fans have been expectantly waiting for the release of their new album, “Coming Up for Air”.

My first impression of this album can be summed up in a simple word — DIFFERENT. The first track: “Honest”, honestly made me wonder if I was listening to the same band which previously composed the calming, melodic tunes released in “High Hopes” and “All I Want.” Instead, the unique vocals of lead singer, Steve Garrigan, could be heard straining against the backdrop of deafening drums and the overdrive of the electric guitar as he struggled to keep pace with the song’s accelerated tempo.

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Steve Garrigan ‘live’ at Ocean Way

Furthermore, the lyrical clichés in this album proved abundant, in songs like “The One”, catering to the sappy romantics who enjoy listening to constant repetitions of lines like, “You make my whole world feel so right when it’s wrong”. I found it cringeworthy and more than a little cheesy for my preference.

However, negativity aside, I do appreciate the fact that Kodaline has taken a big step to explore a new and unfamiliar sound for the band.

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Mark Predergast providing backing vocals in the music video, “Honest”

After listening to the album a few more times, I found myself unconsciously tapping my foot to the groovy bass of tracks like “Human Again” and “Ready”, which reminded me of the popular bass line in “All About that Bass” by Meghan Trainor. In other tracks, Kodaline has still kept the serene essence from their previous albums. “Autopilot” and “Lost” evoke strong emotions, with Garrigan singing his heart out, his powerful vocals balancing the swelling harmonies provided by lead guitarist Mark Prendergast and bassist Jason Boland..

“Coming Up for Air”, offers a musical style I found very different from the Kodaline that I once knew. It isn’t a smooth transition, but I appreciate how the band is taking a different direction by reinventing itself and not getting stagnant and stale. Furthermore, this Dublin quartet continues to impress with melodic instrumentals and spot on harmonies. Overall, this new direction should give the band a wider appeal than before.

Kodaline’s “Coming Up for Air” was released on 6 February 2015 on iTunes, ℗ 2015 B-Unique records (UK) Limited under exclusive License to Sony Music Entertainment UK limited

Total track time: 64:21

Rating: 8/10

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