Small Talk

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This British quartet certainly know a thing or two about keeping the listener's interest, using a time-honored pop/rock feeling for a party-starting "Talk of the Town" that sounds like a slightly timid Arctic Monkeys with a catchy, fun chorus. Throw some barbershop quartet ad-libbing and the Futureheads are briefly brought to mind. Just as bouncy is "Stranded," a tune that has a mix of Brit-pop characteristics and a Beatles flare. Again, the song shines thanks to a fine, singalong chorus that highlights the already very impressive effort. Mohair rarely veer from this catchy, at times irresistible style with the jaunty, stellar "End of the Line" which has a steady, punchy backbeat, great harmonies and a fine amount of piano (and some horns) to drive the song home perfectly. The band rarely become bombastic, instead relying on tight, radio-friendly hooks as they do during "Little Voice," a song that sounds like it came straight from Blur's songbook. Even during the obligatory slow-building ballad "Thin Air" does the band make the most of the rather ordinary number, bringing to mind a cross between Snow Patrol and Jet. The first run-of-the-mill song has to be "Keep It Together" that sees Mohair trying on a hat that is best worn by the likes of Franz Ferdinand. The group try their hand at a slice of Americana-meets-California pop with "L.A. Song" with a mixed result at best. The album concludes with a murky but meaningful "Life." This is an album that should have a lot of people talking.

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