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Album Reviews

Album Review: Easy – Radical Innocence

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Record label: A Turntable Friend Records

For Fans Of: The Smiths, Johnny Marr / Electronic, Miles Kane

Release Date: 1 May 2020

With organically crafted pop songs shrouded in an aura of romance and genuine positivity, Sweden’s indie-rock darlings of the ‘90s have returned with a new edge. Having suddenly disbanded in 1994 following successful tours with The Charlatans and The Jesus and Mary Chain, Easy are once again bestowing their infectious jangle-pop upon the world. With legendary producer Pat Collier (Katrina & The Waves, The Vibrators, U.K. Subs) at the helm, Radical Innocence has been two years in the making and provides a record full of perfect summer anthems.

Radical Innocence is bursting with beautifully crafted lyrics and swooning vocal melodies, married to an array of sharp guitars, impactful beats and danceable basslines. Although the album does start to feel slightly repetitive in places, with very little deviance from the rigid structure and one-dimensional guitar tones that are used in almost every song, Easy clearly have a rare gift of allowing their personality to shine through in their music.

The album as a whole is fun and upbeat, with ‘Crystal Waves’ and ‘Day For Night’ being two tracks that really capture the uplifting nature present throughout Radical Innocence. While Easy have clearly grown up a lot – both musically and as people – since their debut album, Magic Seed, was released in 1990, they’ve retained their ability to produce catchy pop songs, with ‘Memory Loss Revisionism And A Brighter Future’ demonstrating that superbly. The record builds to a slightly disappointing climax with closing track ‘To See The Stars’ providing much more of the same as the rest of the album, lacking an eccentric final display of exemplary creativity that the album badly needs.

Title track ‘Radical Innocence’ finally sees Easy veer off down a different avenue with a song that strips them back to their most raw, both musically and emotionally. The dark, moody ballad culminates in a playful twist on the 1980s British-indie sound reminiscent of the Smiths, with a twangy guitar driven build resulting in a glistening crescendo and a mesmeric atmosphere throughout the song. If Easy could capture the rawness shown in ‘Radical Innocence’ in the rest of their songs, there’s no reason they couldn’t break back into the mainstream after a near three-decade hiatus.

Perhaps the only thing lacking in Radical Innocence is a desperate lack of individuality in any of the songs: Easy seem to have found a sound they like and are either unwilling or unable to stray from that. Offering glimpses of magic throughout, Radical Innocence is an altogether simplistic collection of songs that offers an easy-listening, nostalgic experience whilst giving nothing particularly spectacular to the listener.

Rating: 5/10

Recommended Tracks: ‘Memory Loss Revisionism And A Brighter Future’, ‘Radical Innocence’

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