Release Date: Oct 8, 2013
Record label: RCA
In the fuzzy hinterland between pop and rock, Dublin-based quartet Kodaline occupy a particularly blurry middle ground. Their formula is a simple one: combining the Irish charm and school-of-life lyricisms of The Script with the soaring choruses of Coldplay, via a dash of Mumford And Sons-esque boyishness thrown in for good measure. Pretty much tailor made for an audience of adoring young women, right? And they are.
It's hard to believe, but a decade of Coldplay hasn't sated the public's appetite for music made with a figurative wind machine gushing in the wings. Case in point: the debut by this young Dublin quartet, whose speciality is the gusty, disconsolate anthem, is expected to chart at No 1 this week. It will likely hang around the top 10 for months, because Kodaline have already mastered the craft of piling chorus upon unshakable chorus.
In A Perfect World marks the full debut of young Irish four-piece, Kodaline. The band has been busy building a solid next-big-thing reputation on the back of EPs, live gigs, and sizeable YouTube hits. For all that, naysayers label Kodaline as stadium wannabes and no more than an identikit amalgam of the likes of Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Elbow, Mumfords, plus U2 and almost anyone Irish.
With the titans of OOs sob-rock on sabbatical or drifting into slightly more experimental territory, it may be Irish four-piece Kodaline who soundtrack the nation's romantic disappointments and sporting flops this summer. They're diligent students of the genre, supplying a familiar kind of chiming consolation on their debut and changing gear smoothly from falsetto agonising to piano-thumping redemption. The fact that it's predictable and riddled with self -help cliches doesn't particularly matter, at least not to their commercial prospects.
Kodaline is a four-piece Irish band. They are also a hardly original four-piece Irish band. Already, the group has earned comparisons to the likes of Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Elbow, Mumford and Sons and U2, and I’d be darned if I didn’t hear a little bit of the Waterboys somewhere circa Fisherman’s Blues on their debut disc, In a Perfect World (but maybe that’s just the Mumford copying showing its obvious influence).
The fact that one of Kodaline’s songs from this debut, ‘All I Want’, has already been used during an episode of US hospital drama Grey’s Anatomy should speak volumes about the band’s sound. On the whole we’re dealing with rather straightforward one-dimensional fluff from a band who like to play it safe. So safe in fact that two thirds into the aforementioned track, just as the familiar sound of chiming guitars start to soar, comes the realisation that we’ve been here before, namely on Coldplay’s ‘X&Y’ from seven years ago.