The Bluetones may have never received the same acclaim that their contemporaries did during the Britpop explosion in the '90s, but they always remained true to their roots. Despite the demise of the genre, the band played on and continued releasing albums with the occasional tour. Even though most of us haven't heard from them since 1995's "Silent Return," the band's biggest hit, they were out there making music. Now, on their self-titled fifth album, the guys are plugging away again making upbeat pop for the rest of us.
For this release, the foursome reunited with Hugh Jones, the same producer from their debut album, and it shows. The songs are much more like the ones off their first record rather than the band's later efforts. Carefree "Surrendered" kicks off the album in classic Britpop form; at times the vocals are reminiscent of Brian Molko's sweet yet nasally high-pitched perfection. This contrasts nicely with the more rockin' "Baby Back Up." The cute and catchy "Head On A Spike" leaves the impression that The Bluetones are what they are, a decent pop band; no more and no less. "My Neighbour's House," the first single, packs a sweet punch, while the jangly "Wasn't I Right About You?" provides a Belle & Sebastian-ish ending.
It's nice to say that The Bluetones are back in action, and that this one could finally put them on the map for the rest of the world. If you have never given The Bluetones a shot before, or are just in the mood for some good pop music, pick this one up in February.