Thursday, August 11, 2011

Noah and The Whale - Last Night On Earth

01. Life Is Life
02. Tonight Is The Kind Of Night
03. L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.
04. Wild Thing
05. Give It All Back
06. Just Before We Met
07. Paradise Stars
08. Waiting For My Chance To Come
09. The Line
10. Old Joy

Charlie Fink's refusal to rest on his laurels is admirable. Over the course of three albums, he has steered Noah and the Whale from winsome folk-pop through confessional misery and now to smooth and shiny drivetime rock. One might have feared the results of this latest iteration, but Last Night on Earth is a sparkling piece of work. There's a misstep in Give It All Back, which hails "the kids who believed in rock'n'roll" only to mawkishly locate them in a school assembly, but even that song is saved by a fabulous arrangement, which – like many of the songs here – blooms in its final bars. In fact, the arrangements are delicious throughout: Just Before We Met opens with a pizzicato violin hook set against a synthesised bassline, before a harpsichord and electric guitar come in, the latter taking on the violin line. It's just one example of how Fink seems to have worked these songs until they are just so, without ever overdoing