Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Review: Frightened Rabbit - The Winter of Mixed Drinks (* * * 1/2)

Progress is—by most definitions—a game of give and take. In the music business, it’s nearly impossible to grow artistically or explore different musical avenues without leaving something behind. A clear illustration of such growing pains is exemplified in Scottish indie-rockers Frightened Rabbit, whose third record, The Winter of Mixed Drinks, comes two years after the band’s excellent breakthrough, the compelling and abrasively emotional Midnight Organ Fight.

Of course, much of what made the band unique remains—especially the intensely dramatic songwriting and singer Scott Hutchison’s thickly accented unstable tenor—but along with an expanding lineup (yes, they actually have a bass player now), Frightened Rabbit’s latest marks a decided turning point in the band’s trajectory. Their bigger, more arena-ready sound will surely prove to be an effective bid for mainstream audiences, and it shows an increased maturity and approachability, but in the process the boys have sacrificed some of the fragile intimacy that made their previous material so engaging. (Continue reading @ In Review Online)