397: The Union

Hey, remember that awesome band I talked about before, called The Union?  No you fucking don't, because nobody ever does!  The Union are one of those bands that, despite being heralded by countless critics and getting nominated for a bunch of awards, never get any attention from rock fans.  These guys may be one of the best new blues rock bands in existence right now, and yet nobody seems to care at all.  For example, the average view count on their Youtube videos is less than 10,000.  That's basically obscure-indie-band status.  (Or popular-South-African-band status, lol.)  It's a crime, I say angrily!

Well to show my love for this amazingly underappreciated band, I'm gonna write a review of their latest album, the newly released The World Is Yours.  And to sum it up: it's not as good as their first two (lol, sorry Union <3).  But it's still a very strong album nonetheless.  The Union's eponymous first album, released in 2010, was one of the best rock albums I heard that whole year.  The songs were perfectly classic-sounding in tone, while somehow feeling fresh and innovative for their genres.  A great blend of rock, blues, and folk, and each song was memorable and lovable - an easy 9/10 score for sure.  Their second album Siren's Song still had songs from different genres, though it was much more homogenized.  Most of the songs were straightforward blues rock, and then there were a few acoustic tracks thrown in.  But those blues rock songs were all instantly catchy, which kept the album consistently good from start to finish, as opposed to the first album which had many ups and downs over its course.  But in the end, the first album still impressed more, and so I'd give the second one a slightly lower score, like an 8/10.

So if the first album was a huge varied blend of different genres, and the second was a more homogenous blues-rock album, this new album would be somewhere in between those two.  The World Is Yours has only two genres, blues-rock and acoustic folk ballad, BUT it does switch between those genres a lot.  It makes it a much more folk-influenced album, and less homogenous than the second, but still not as incredibly varied as the first.  And the one pervasive thought that I couldn't shake was that the songs had become less innovative.  Whereas the first two sounded like a fesh new spin on old ideas, these songs sounded much closer to everything I had already heard from countless similar artists.  Out of the 15 tracks on the album, it wasn't until the last third that the songs started surprising me, with one song busting out a banjo, and another one having a chorus that sounds just like the Foo Fighters (seriously, check out "Wreck My Scene," it's pretty awesome).  And the last little downside to the album is that it doesn't have as many great, impressive moments like the first two did.  Every song is good.  Some of them are REALLY good.  But none of them reach the level of the best hits on previous albums.  And so, this album will definitely be getting a lower score, but considering it still had 15 songs on it (23 on the deluxe version), and ALL of them were good, it's not gonna be THAT much lower.  The World Is Yours gets a 6.5/10 from me.  It is still CLEARLY above average, and something I know that every rock, blues, and folk fan will enjoy, but it just wasn't quite as unique as its predecessors.

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