I used to think I was really cool and original for liking bands that incorporated elements of dance, disco, and club music into their sound. Maybe I really was at the time, but now every other chart-topping pop song has a programmed beat or a synth loop. Because of this, the latest EP from After Edmund doesn’t sound all that exciting just by its classification as an indie/dance/rock album.
Yet there is still a sense of freshness to Times Have Changed. Who needs to create a groundbreaking new genre when you can work with something familiar to make an energetic album as catchy as what After Edmund has achieved? Each song is filled with its own brand of head-bobbing, fist-pumping fun. It seems like each time I finish listening to this album, I go away with a different track stuck in my head.
One of the best parts of the album is its diversity. The boys of After Edmund have created an album where each individual song has its own special feel while not sacrificing the cohesiveness of the album. There’s a noisy electro-rocker in Human Nature, a fun dance tune in Dance Like You’re From the Future (which, by the way, has a great music video), and a perfect, building closer in Times Have Changed. The only song that really feels out of place is Klavierzeiten. It functions as a long piano intro to the final track, but honestly, it lasts a little too long, and, as a soft piano-only song, it just doesn’t mesh well with the energy and heavy production of the rest of the album.
But what really sets this album apart from other dance-inflected indie rock albums is the aggressive, over-the-top performance by vocalist Mitch Parks. He sings with passion and energy, and manages to stay on key – more than you can say for plenty of other singers. He makes subtle changes to his voice throughout the album so he is always in sync with the tone and content of each song. His voice is like the cornerstone that holds the whole product together.
My rating for Times Have Changed: 4.5 out of 5 stars. I really, really like this album, but I just can’t give it five stars. Klavierzeiten is the main culprit here, but I feel like it wouldn’t feel so out of place if there were five or six more tracks to listen to.