Kodaline cast a very wide net with their debut album In a Perfect World. Following a blueprint which proved fruitful for the likes of Keane, Coldplay and Ed Sheeran may seem like a good business move for the Dublin quartet, but ultimately their paint-by-numbers approach exposes a frustrating dearth of originality.
The album is steeped in a sense of heartbreak and lost love - staples for this sort of dross - but In a Perfect World comes across as too saccharine for those feelings to ever properly take hold in anything more than a transient, bubblegum kind of way. Vocalist Stephen Garrigan has admirable range in his falsetto, as well as knowing how to write a catchy hook into his songs, but the over-sincerity which exudes from each of the album's 11 songs begins to grate somewhere around track 5 and each tearjerker which follows only serves to emphasise the album's flaws.
Kodaline are certainly well equipped for success in an industry which enthusiastically rewards this sort of nonsense but we just hope that album #2 focuses the band's undoubted talents towards finding their own voice, more so than attempting to echo the success of others.
Listen: 'All I Want', 'Love Like This', 'Way Back When'
Review by John Balfe | Two Stars