The Leeds quintet's fifth studio LP and first in nearly four years, Broken Glances finds the Pigeon Detectives continuing what has been a gradual shift from swaggering, garagey post-Brit-pop to a more complex and refined version of English indie rock. That shift takes a pretty big step along from 2013's We Met at Sea into more reflective territory, with the band finally embracing the synth pop movement of the 2010s, tying synths into lusher, large-venue sounds. The good news for longtime fans is that they haven't abandoned their modus operandi of big hooks and lively melodies, if the energy is dialed back. Songs like "Stay with Me" and lead single "Lose Control" still offer satisfying and infectious dance-rock. They appear alongside the midtempo, over-six-minute "Munro," which blends '80s-inspired synth tones with shimmering guitar. (The album's title appears there in the phrase "All those broken glances just for you.") Also joining more uptempo entries is the particularly downcast "Falling in Love," an apprehensive love song guided by atmospheric keys that offers an unusually restrained performance from lead singer Matt Bowman. Through the varied tempos and varied brio, songs are memorable and stick to a palette that wraps the album neatly in a silvery-gray bow. The more mature sound stands in pretty sharp contrast to the punky impetuousness of their breakthrough debut, 2007's Wait for Me, but feels somewhat inevitable in the context of time and the music scene around them. Speaking of which, Broken Glances will certainly lead to more comparisons to hometown contemporaries the Kaiser Chiefs, who have followed a similar path.
AllMusic Review by Marcy Donelson