SPUN: The Devlins

A bad album can be forgiven if it shows some variety. Unfortunately, quality is severely lacking in Waves, the fourth album from Irish brothers The Devlins. Love is the subject matter for nearly all of the album’s 10 tracks and none of them convey a strong sense of joy or heartache. Instead, the most common emotion is an irritatingly mellow attitude of “this too shall pass.” The disc is peppered with lines such as “All the things that hurt you know they’re just a part of living,” and “Someday soon our luck will change.”

“Lazarus” provides a pleasant contrast with its hint of how staying together is based on the desire not to be alone than love, but the Biblical reference seem out of place.

Musically, The Devlins resemble another Irish band, U2. But lead singer Colin Devlin has none of Bono’s range, either emotionally or vocally. His voice is so grating, in fact, it evokes despair when he interrupts an all-too-brief instrumental segment (and those aren’t even terribly compelling). Like Lazarus, The Devlins will probably rise again, but here’s hoping they have something to show for their miraculous survival on their next album.

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