Since the debut release of Tourist History which saw this trio of Northern Irish indie rockers catapulted into the public eye, Two Door Cinema Club’s highly anticipated second album Beacon certainly had a lot to live up to, but fortunately it doesn’t disappoint.
The second album can generically be a curse, especially for a band whose debut album was so successful to begin with. The dilemma is whether to stick to the winning formula and risk being seen as a one trick pony (i.e. Scouting For Girls) or to try and show some musical development without appearing to sell out. It’s a fine line for any band but it seems that Two Door Cinema Club have managed to dodge the dreaded second album curse.
The title Beacon is indicative of what sort of sound you can expect from this album as the band have obviously tried to shine a light upon specific elements of their original sound in Tourist History, but without straying from the flourishing genre that they are associated with. The result of this is the cheery indie pop that we know and love from Two Door, but with stronger hooky bass lines for example in 4th track ‘Sun’ and lyrics that unlike much of Tourist History, actually seem to have some meaning.
The first official single, however is a surprising choice, ‘Sleep Alone’ is noticeably one of the weaker tracks from this album. Although catchy and vibrant, it doesn’t demonstrate Two Door’s progression, unlike tracks such as ‘Handshake’ and ‘The World is Watching’ which reveal maturity unseen in previous material. That’s not to say that ‘Sleep Alone’ isn’t a decent song, but it certainly isn’t a fair representation of what you can expect from this album.
Key tracks include opener ‘Next Year’ an upbeat song with colourful synth that tackles the subject of long distance relationships, and ‘Settle’; a personal favorite that makes you feel practically invincible if you listen to it with headphones whilst jogging. It swells up with emotion as soon as it hits the chorus and bursts full of Two Door’s signature joyous high-pitched guitar riffs. It’s tracks like these that make it not too hard to imagine the majority of this album being played on mainstream radio.
Beacon succeeds as a second album. It represents a strong development since Tourist History; Two Door Cinema Club have obviously grown as a band and refined their unique sound. Granted they certainly haven’t taken any risks, but they have improved upon what made us interested in them in the first place. Cheery pure indie pop at it’s best.