Album reviewsMusic

The Radio Dept. – Running Out of Love: Album Review

20 October, 2016 — by Tom Edwards0

the radio dept. running out of love album review

The Radio Dept are a group with a point to prove. When most acts release a singles compilation, it’s sometimes a sign their inspiration is drying up. After their own compilation album was released in 2011, The Radio Dept. took time to soak up some inspiration for their next release, Running Out of Love.

On previous albums, The Radio Dept. have varied their sound a great deal, from pure Pet Shop Boys’ synth sheen, to Cocteau Twins’ style dream pop. Running Out of Love does it’s best to juggle the best elements from all these sounds, while throwing in politically driven lyrics.

The album opener ‘Sloboda Narodu’, a nod to the Yugoslav Partisan motto, “Death to Fascism, Freedom to the People” is a slow building affair, with 90 seconds of warm picked guitar drowned in overdriven chords and percussion before the vocals even begin.

As the choppy synths and driving beats of ‘Swedish Guns’ begin, it’s apparent this isn’t meant to be a cohesive conceptual album, rather an amalgamation of styles that share a common lyrical theme. This is confirmed with the 90s house stylings of ‘We Got Game’. The fact that Running Out of Love never settles on one musical theme can be distracting to its overall power at times. However, this is not to slight in any way, as the album contains a fully constructed set of songs that will hopefully bring a huge number of new fans to the group.

It could not have come at a better time, the political situation in Sweden which encouraged The Radio Dept. to write these tracks is a situation mirrored in many countries, especially the UK. Rallying against the popular fear-mongering views within their own country is a commendable move, and one that pays off more with every listen.

the radio dept
*Locks balcony window, raids mini-fridge of all Lion Bars, strips down to underwear, falls asleep*

Running Out of Love lulls slightly in the middle with ‘Occupied’ and ‘Can’t Be Guilty’ both feeling slightly overdrawn, but even in these weaker moments there are real sections of beauty. Although the many genres tackled can sometimes distract, the consistent production gels the tracks together enough to make a cohesive and an enjoyable listen.

‘Committed To The Cause’ is a particular highlight, combining a sharp guitar line with simplistic, yet determined lyrics. Even though the energy of the vocal delivery sounds more like the band Phoenix than a ‘phoenix rising from the ashes’, it complements the style perfectly, and is a refreshing contrast to the traditional ideal that protest music must be screamed to be heard. Often the message is conveyed without any lyrics at all, like on its title track – a slow burning instrumental that feels unsettlingly like a growing alarm thanks to the presence of an intermittent synth line throughout.

Running Out of Love is a peaceful protest, and one that strikes the right balance between simple pop and complex thought. 4/5

Check out more latest music releases in our new album reviews section, including Marching Church – Telling it Like it is.

The Radio Dept. – Running Out of Love

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