Young and Dangerous by The Struts – Album Review

young and dangerous the struts album review logo

By David Schuster

When I was a kid watching Top of the Pops it seemed to me that glam rock was how pop stars should be; larger than life singers, outrageous costumes and anthemic songs. In a world where the music moguls are increasingly risk-averse, the music industry needs this, and The Struts have all of it, by the bucket load.

The band have taken their time putting out Young & Dangerous, this is only their second album since they formed back in 2009. You can’t accuse them of rushing material out! It’s been well worth the wait though, there’s quite a few songs that will make great singles: ‘In Love With A Camara’ sounds a lot like The Darkness in their heady initial days. ‘Primadonna Like Me’ and ‘Bulletproof Baby’ are full of the (appropriately) strutting pomposity of the Rolling Stones; “You only love us ‘cause we’re hot. So what?”, whilst ‘Tatler Magazine’ is a hymn for anyone who’s ever dreamt of fame: “’Cause one day everyone will know I’m the star of my own show. Living life in luxury inside a Tatler Magazine”.

young and dangerous the struts album review band

The Struts

“On fire”

It’s a shame then that my favourite, ‘Freak Like You’, is unlikely to get any national airplay due to its overt use of the ‘F’ word. It won’t matter though, if I was The Struts I’d finish every concert with this crowd-engaging, hand-clapping-above-heads rock anthem. It’s not hyperbole to compare it to Queen’s ‘Radio Ga Ga’, perfect for a Glastonbury headline performance. Michael Eavis, sign them up immediately!

Tracks seven ‘Fire (Part 1)’ and twelve ‘Ashes (Part 2)’ are presented as a pair, a conceit which made me smile. The former deals with the heady initial days of a relationship: “We’re on fire, burning desire… Can’t hold back the fire”, whilst the latter deals with the aftermath, “We burned like fire, now everything’s turned to ashes”.

young and dangerous the struts album review cover“Put it on repeat”

The Struts’ Young & Dangerous gets my first full 10/10 rating for 2018. It’s a perfect New Year’s Eve dance floor filling, shout at the top of your lungs, party CD the like of which we’ve not seen for a long time.

I’d decided this on my first listen through, but on later consideration I dithered: There’s an awful lot here that sounds like other bands; ‘Primadonna Like Me’ echoes Franz Ferdinand’s ‘Do You Want To’, ‘Body Talks’ reminds me of Amy Winehouse, and there’s a lot more that’s familiar in part.

Often though you should just go with gut-instinct: I played the album in the car, on a family road trip. As soon as the record finished, my teenage daughter asked me to put it on repeat. You can’t argue with that.


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