The Music returns with their sophomore effort Welcome To The North and once again unleashes their big wall of sound. Their songs come across as concert anthems with bombastic, rock ‘n’ roll flourishes and danceable beats. The percussion of Phil Jordan drives the rhythms and Stuart Coleman’s bass lays the foundations. Adam Nutter tears it up on guitar while lead singer Robert Harvey, reminiscent of Perry Farrell, wails along in a nasally voice that is augmented by echo effects. In fact, during a party while the album played, I was asked on two separate occasions if I had on new Jane’s Addiction. You can hear that band’s influence in The Music’s work as well as influences from Zeppelin, U2, Queen and Rush to name a few. They aren’t in the same class as those bands, but they have the ambition to make music that strives to be an important, positive force in the universe and this album, like their debut, shows they are headed in the right direction.
In regards to the lyrics, I will concede that they are the weakest element of the band. For example, lines like “The sky is just a diamond/Reflecting the sea” and “The sun is bleeding into mine eye” from “Bleed From Within” do come off as simple, clichéd and even a tad pretentious, but Harvey sings the lyrics with a such passion about the power of music. “We wanted to do something that made people feel good,” Harvey said. The band’s attitude is certainly a welcome change from all the anger and “woe is me” that have been the main emotions in rock music for the past ten years.
Welcome To The North provides a good musical workout for the brain and even the body for those inclined to get up and dance. To see videos of live performances of “Freedom Fighters” and “Bleed From Within,” go to their American website.