Elemeno P Trouble In Paradise

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Elemeno P’s second album, Trouble In Paradise, is more of the same with a few wee gems. Over the past couple of years, we have come to expect upbeat, rocking songs from these guys, and they certainly deliver.

However, my initial thought was that Trouble In Paradise sounded like one 35 minute song, rather than an actual album. After a few days of listening the album grew on me, but I decided it lacked some of the cheeky charm of their fantastic debut album Love & Disrespect.

My main criticism of the album is the band’s release of Burn as their new single. Of all the songs on the album, they released the most cringe-inducing listen. Any song that sneers, “So wham, bam, thank you maam, here I go again” is going to grate people’s nerves. It’s just dreadful – what were they thinking?! I’m also not really a fan of their first single 11:57, but each to their own.

Now that’s off my chest, I’ll get onto the good points of the album. Opening track You Are was my initial favourite, closely followed by The Day I Went Under. Other highlights include Ohio and Pardon Me, a song about growing up in the eighties and realising that family life can be flawed. As Gibson sings, “Pardon me if I don’t make the same mistakes” it just makes you want to give him a hug.

Lani joins in the vocals a bit more on this album, singing her heart out on 11:57 and Life’s Not Fair. I was suitably impressed with second to last track, Life’s Not Fair. This would be the one song on the album that immediately stands out as different. The slow, thoughtful song ponders on loss, memory, and finding hope in moments of despair.

The lyrics on this album have more depth than the predecessor, but the pop-rock style in which they are presented has not altered. You could be forgiven for thinking you were listening to another upbeat song about girls and parties, until you stop and listen to the somewhat forlorn lyrics.

In appropriate style, the album ends with Stay/Go, a song reminiscent of eighties teenage angst and growing up. Elemeno P have always been a kick-ass live act, and this is definitely a song to leap around to in a sweaty mosh pit. They couldn’t have finished the album off better.

My overall impression was that much of Trouble In Paradise could have come off 2003’s Love & Disrespect. This fact may delight some die-hard fans of the ‘P. The good songs are very good, and the rest are predictably upbeat. Personally, I was hoping for a little more diversity from this album. Listen before you buy.

Clea Marshall

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