by Tyler Hayes

This isn’t the same Freelance Whales that put out their last album, ‘Weathervanes’, back in 2009. That’s not a bad thing, just fact. Since being greeted with well deserved success, including NPR debuting ‘Diluvia’, the band is clearly writing for the present with the new album rather than write for the past trying to please longstanding and recent fans.

Concerns over the elimination of the sharper synth tones are mostly irrelevant except that as a soundtrack for the day to day there are only a few moments on the album that have the potential to shake you loose long enough to put focus back on the music rather than the task at hand. The album melds together almost seamlessly. With your attention locked on the songs, however, there’s plenty to champion, including crafting songs that can actually break out in the mainstream.

Among the album’s highlights and tracks that could break out in the mainstream are gems like “Locked Out” and “Spitting Image”. Both tracks employ a rhythm that’s catchy enough to stick long after the song has ended. “Follow Through” is also an interesting song in that it’s probably one of the strongest and best on the album, yet it has such a slow start I doubt it could penetrate a radio chart. It’s charm and hooks aren’t felt until the song is at least halfway though. Counteracting the brightest track is “Red Star”, which is among the longest and never really gets anywhere in its allotted time slot, always with the potential, but never the follow through.

After Of Monsters And Men released their undoubtedly successful album earlier this year, but before ‘Diluvia’ was even talked about, I was worried they might over shadow the upcoming Freelance Whales sophomore album. Fears were avoided though as both musical works live in their own space and reach similar, but different audiences.

If you can approach ‘Diluvia’ with fresh eyes and willing ears, you’ll love it. If you’re still hung up on ‘Weathervanes’, however, you’ll be left with a fair amount of disappointment. There will be other bands that come along and fill the former Freelance Whales void, have no fear. But as for the band moving on and writing a new album, it’s all music fans could have hoped for.

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