The Blow Monkeys

Feels Like a New Morning

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The Blow Monkeys attempted a reunion in 2010 and, in retrospect, it feels like a bit of a dry run, as the 2013 album Feels Like a New Morning resonates deeper as a reunion, capturing the band's breezy, cheerful aesthetic better than its predecessor. It's a curious balance between effervescence and skill, and the band delivers an album that is neither fussy nor hurried: it's comfortable and settled, the sound of middle-aged musicians enjoying their craft. Perhaps it is a craft that appeals solely to listeners who grew up with the band, but the Blow Monkeys happily play toward this distinctly defined audience and, as such, Feels Like a New Morning is precise in its attack, the band never having a note out of place, always placing melody at the forefront, staying true to their well-known hits while never quite ignoring whatever new fashions that have happened since their debut, either. There is just a hint of freshness in the production, which offsets the slight emphasis on slickness, helping to make Feels Like a New Morning feel cheerful, amiable, and comforting; these are pop songs meant to soothe. Perhaps it can be too sweet, too cloying at times, but it's warm and ingratiating, suggesting the Blow Monkeys can ease into a convincing middle age.

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