After an extended absence, the quartet from Kippax, Leeds, with their all-encompassing and hence somewhat non-descript name, have returned with their third full length album. In the four years since Welcome to the North, The Music have dealt with being dropped by their label and with frontman Robert Harvey's personal struggle with drugs, alcohol and depression. Impossible not to have been influenced by this, Strength In Numbers sees The Music move away from their more rocky tendencies and towards the ever so hip and now electro-indie scene, with songs like Drugs including downright blatant subject matter.
The 12 songs on offer here present consistently chant-like "melodies," a tendency used to positive effect on softer and slower tracks like Idle where the repetitive nature of the vocals, alongside synths and static bassline, makes for a hypnotic and trance-like chill-out tune. However, when aiming for danceable rock songs, the result is, more often than not, monotonous and even irritating, leading inevitably to an album where one song sounds much like the next. The exception to this rule is Vision saved by its catchy bass-line and ghostly droning background.
With so much riding on this "comeback" album it may raise the question: is this move to a currently popular genre a conscious decision on their part? Either way, the result sounds of progress.