x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

The Temper Trap's eponymous album is unremarkable

The band haven't deviated from the Jeff Buckley-meets-Coldplay aesthetic of their debut, other than to make it somehow sound even more innocuous.

The Temper Trap
The Temper Trap
(Infectious)
**

After scoring a huge international hit with their 2008 single Sweet Disposition, the Australian soft-rockers The Temper Trap relocated to London in the hopes of building on their early successes. But despite the move bringing them closer to potential audiences in North America and Europe, winning new fans with this, their second album, is likely to be a struggle. The Temper Trap haven't deviated from the Jeff Buckley-meets-Coldplay aesthetic of their debut, other than to make it somehow sound even more innocuous. The opener and lead single Need Your Love also demonstrates how unusually light on hooks the album is. Most off-putting is London's Burning – the band's ham-fisted attempt at commenting on last summer's riots in their new home. A vaguely Clash-inspired number intercut with news clips from the turbulent events, it's hard to think of a protest song with less of a point to make than this. The album isn't without some minor delights – the electro-pop track Where Do We Go From Here is loose and fun – but such songs merely render this an unremarkable album, rather than a downright pointless one.