Alpine : A Is For Alpine
Anyone acquainted with the indie-pop prowess of Alpine will note that this, their debut album, is pretty much par for the course. A Is For Alpine offers no real shock to the system, the album perfectly aligned with expectation and the band’s perceived trajectory. It’s a move that ought to prove divisive, simultaneously satisfying die-hard fans and disappointing those that hungered for more from a full LP.
There’s a lot to like about A Is For Alpine. Its best songs are utterly infectious, from the see-sawing single Hands to slick indie-rocker Villages. Meanwhile, Gasoline stakes its own claim as a strong, sprightly highlight. Beyond a handful of main attractions, though – and in spite of gorgeous production from start to finish – there's something coldly clinical about A Is For Alpine. The record too frequently resonates as a one-dimensional affair, its songs struggling to break boundaries imposed from its humble beginnings. Alpine obsess with particular techniques and nuances, an emphasis upon chirpy guitars, tandem vocals and mechanical compositions prevalent. Ultimately, the album serves up everything that’s quintessentially Alpine and, without any deviation from the norm, fascination with A Is For Alpine begins to wear thin.
A Is For Alpine is worth a listen for its choice cuts, but it’s fairly predictable, particularly if you’re already up to speed on the band’s expertise. Fingers crossed they embark on a radical new direction sometime soon.
BY NICK MASON
Best Track: Hands
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