Two Door Cinema Club

Tourist History

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

Though Two Door Cinema Club's music is resolutely indie at heart, the band released its early singles on the hip, largely electronic imprint Kitsuné. After listening to Tourist History, what the label heard in them becomes clear: Two Door Cinema Club craft immaculate pop that is infectious almost to a fault. On songs like their calling card “Something Good Can Work,” nimble guitars and drums -- both live and programmed -- propel yearning verses and big, hopeful choruses perfect for shouting along to. Alex Trimble’s boyish vocals recall Phoenix’s Thomas Mars and the Postal Service’s Ben Gibbard, and indeed, Two Door Cinema Club is just as adept as those bands are at fusing rock and electronic sounds into a smooth, sleek whole. Whether it’s the laser-like synths that ricochet through “Come Back Home”’s verses or streaking textures on “Do You Want It All?,” this hybrid never feels contrived or overcooked. And unlike some of their contemporaries, a unique urgency runs through Tourist History: even when trying to slow down, as on “Undercover Martyn,” the band gets carried away and the song picks up to Two Door Cinema Club’s usual brisk pace. For most of Tourist History, they stay on the right side of the fine line between consistency and monotony, and as the album unfolds, the band throws some curves into its almost scientifically perfect pop songs. “Cigarettes in the Theatre”’s trumpet solo harks back to the mid-‘80s heyday of sophisti-pop, while “I Can Talk”’s playfully sampled backing vocals show a wit that extends to lyrics like “Eat That Up, It’s Good for You”’s “You would look a little better/Don’t you know/If you just wore less makeup.” While Two Door Cinema Club don't yet have the flawless style or emotional weight of some of their influences, Tourist History just gets catchier and more stylized as it goes on, offering a promising foundation for the band to embellish with even more personality next time.

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