For a Moment I Was Lost by Amber Run – Album Review
by Matt Callard
It’s happening, for Amber Run. Fresh second album, devoted first album following in tow, serious radio plays, plenty of teen appeal, stadium-ready – plus (and here’s the clincher) an ocean-sized gap called Coldplay to fill in the everyman rock department. (Coldplay haven’t died or anything – but heck, that clock’s ticking…).
Not that the trio of singles that have preceded this release make an obvious play for stadium big time. ‘Haze’ was a quiet fragment, intended more to intrigue listeners than propel the band to a Glasto support slot. Its odd, synth-washed background and fractured vocoder ambience was at least a brave move, but the track hardly begged for replays. So when ho-hum follow-up ‘Stranger’ basically added stadium-sized drums to an old Keane b-side you might have wondered if the band were about to miss an open goal.
Third single ‘Perfect’ still trod Tom Chaplin’s well-worn route, but at least added meaty hooks and stadium dynamics to a decent, if generic, rock anthem. So bets are off for For a Moment, I Was Lost.
“More suited to fatalistic ennui than wall punching”
‘Insomniac’ is a fine opener; bright and urgent, riffing on The National’s uniquely dark euphoria. But second track, ‘No Answers’ is a petulant mess, the band sounding like angry accountants (something you suspect the band are in another life) in a hissy fit over a deleted spreadsheet. Amber Run’s ‘rage’ is about as convincing as Caligula’s gentle side. So when lush and dreamy third track ‘Island’ nails the classic unrequited love song (yes, Amber Run are more suited to fatalistic ennui than wall punching) you’re still at a loss in deciding whether the band have missed the goal or gone one-up after 10 minutes.
And throughout these 12 tracks those same feelings occur and reoccur. ‘Fickle Game’ would slot on to Leif Vollebekk‘s nice but somnambulistic new album. ‘White Lie’ and ‘Perfect’ are mid-album brothers-in-arms, all sweet Jeff Buckley operatics chained to Kasabian’s club-footed rock stomping, only for the album to finish with a lovely trio of ballads, closer ‘Wastelands’ at last echoing Coldplay’s ‘The Scientist’ high water mark.
Next big global rock phenomenon? Not yet, but maybe one day. Momentum maintained… just.