Noah and the Whale - Last Night on Earth

Album cover
Indie
Mercury Records
Noah and the Whale
Last Night on Earth
Noah and the Whale - Last Night on Earth Review rating:
2
User rating:
Average: 3 (2 votes)

Heralded as an absolutely devastating record to some and a clichéd cheeseball to others; Noah and the Whale’s sophomore release was the subject of more polarizing opinions than the average record. Armed with a wide range of instrumentation, varying levels of dynamics, and a heavy heart, Noah and the Whale made a name for themselves with The First Days of Spring, but whether this was a positive or negative event is a question of debate. Regardless of the perspective of its listeners, one thing remained true, that The First Days of Spring was a full-blown break-up record. Utilizing a hauntingly distressing atmosphere and desperate lyricism, it was not ambiguous as to realize what Noah and the Whale had been going for. What many had refused to notice however, was how truly corny Noah and Whale’s attempts were. With lyrics such as “I need your life in my life” and “But blues skies are coming,” The First Days of Spring seemed fabricated and hilariously generic, but most of all, made Noah and the Whale difficult to take seriously.

But, L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N. for Noah and the Whale. “You used to be somebody, now you’re someone else,” sings Charlie Fink in the first track of Last Night on Earth; as if he was referring to the band as a whole. Either attempting not to seem one-dimensional, or assembling a hoard of contrasting inspiration, Noah and the Whale have thrown the desperation and despair by the wayside with their 2011 installment. The quirky optimism of tracks such as “Life is Life” and “Give it All Back” should indicate a stark contrast to the record’s predecessor; but in actually reveals that Noah and the Whale have not grown from those awkward and trite nerds we were familiar with in 2009.

Just as The First Days of Spring seemed sad for the sake of being sad, Last Night on Earth is happy for the sake of being happy. Lead single “L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.” is just as intoxicatingly ridiculous as the title suggests; facilitated by a pedestrian message, tedious melodies, and laughable lyrics. Worst of all however, is that the single is actually catchy (in this case being the type of song that will drive you absolutely crazy). If Noah and the Whale had accomplished anything with Last Night on Earth, it is that the record has somewhat of an infectious ambiance. Producing catchy songs alone however, gets a band nowhere. Especially when the content is as original as Chad Kroeger’s inspiration. It would be pointless to make examples of additional tracks as the music, melodies, and lyricism continue at a painfully miniscule level; leaving Last Night on Earth as an unbearable listen despite its relatively normal length.

In the end, Last Night on Earth doesn’t exhibit anything that would erase the hackneyed view many of us have of Noah and the Whale. Don’t be fooled by the use of strings, female backing vocals, and placidly amusing sentiment the record initially gives off. Last Night on Earth has a hysterically dreadful underbelly; something that Noah and the Whale has become unintentionally incredible at. Noah and the Whale, professional comedians.

1. Life is Life
2. Tonight's the Kind of Night
3. L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.
4. Wild Thing
5. Give it All Back
6. Just Before We Met
7. Paradise Stars
8. Waiting for My Chance to Come
9. The Line
10. Old Joy

Noah and the Whale is an alternative/folk group formed in Twickenham, London, England in 2006. They consist of Charlie Fink (vocals, guitar), Tom Hobden (fiddle), Matt "Urby Whale" Owens (bass), Fred Abbott (keyboards) and Jack Hamson (drums). Doug Fink (drums) and Laura Marling (vocals, guitar) are former members of the band. They released their debut album Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down - which contains the UK Top 10 hit 5 Years Time - in August of 2008.

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