ALBUM REVIEW: The Naked And Famous – Simple Forms
New Zealand indie-electronic outfit The Naked And Famous may have re-located to Los Angeles but they are still holding onto their musical roots with their third studio album. “Simple Forms” holds onto their indie-pop/rock sound but expands on a bigger synth-pop experimentation that “Young Blood” and “Punching In A Dream” established on their debut. Album opener and lead single “Higher” introduces the euphoric and synth-packed sound with a chorus that explodes and no pun intended but takes you higher. It delves into a more “Chvrches” realm of harmonies and hook breakdowns. However it’s early standout “The Water Beneath You” which will have you instantly wanting to be transported to one of their new live shows as it perfectly captures what they were trying to establish on this album. “My Energy”, “Losing Our Control” and fan favourite “Rotten” are heavily influenced by their older material and make way for the glossier “Last Forever” and “The Runners” to provide a groovy centrepiece. However the second half of the album becomes a bit predictable and loses it’s innovation. It’s not uncommon for this genre to become a bit monotonous but I feel like the balance of sound was overshadowed and could have taken this new sound higher (again no pun intended). Vocally Alisa delivers her soaring vocals while Thom Powers jumps in to harmonise and give the songs a much needed texture. It’s a stronger collection of tracks compared to their sophomore attempt and will give their live show a new depth but they are going to constantly be compared to the Broods and Churches of the industry, and that begs the question; who is really fulfilling this sound more?