ALBUM RATING: 3.7/5
Nottingham, England is a place that is known for a lot of different cultural contributions. For one, it is directly linked to the iconic story of Robin Hood and his Merry Men, which in my opinion, lead to one of the greatest Disney films of all time. But besides acting as the set behind a cartoon fox and his attempts to rob the rich to feed the poor, Nottingham is also becoming known for the bands that have come out of its music scene in recent years.
Bands like Paper Lace and Ten Years After are well beyond their prime, but recent acts like Childhood are just getting started. The group just recently released their sophomore album entitled Universal High on July 21st, and it’s already getting incredible reviews.
Perhaps the most notable feature of the album is the group’s undeniable growth since their debut. Universal High sees Childhood taking on a more pop-focused, dance enthused vibe that is more reminiscent of the 1970s than that of the indie-pop genre they are so often categorized in.
Just listen to the keyboard solo on “Too Old for My Tears” and you’ll feel like you’re floating inside of a lava lamp.
Get lost in the heavy bass/synth combo of “Melody Says” and you’ll feel like you’re a part of one of the iconic transition scenes from That 70s Show.
Put on “Californian Light” and watch the stiffest of hips start gyrating.
(OK, I think you get the point…)
But the album’s defining moment most definitely comes in the form of the title track.
The title track combines elements of darkened piano ballads with uplifting funkadelia. The chorus is catchy and is perfectly sandwiched between melodious verses defined by smooth drum fills and groovy basslines.
But despite the overall positive vibe that this album gives off, there is still an element of forgettability that occurs after the title track. As the album closes, it just sort of fizzles out, rather than leaving the listener with a bang.
But despite my arrogant belief that my own opinion matters, Universal High showcases a band that is taking promising steps in the right direction.