Truth Is A Beautiful Thing
Dew Process/Ministry of Sound
After three years off the radar and working in the studio, UK group London Grammar are at it again with latest album Truth Is a Beautiful Thing. Recorded in Paul Epworth’s North London studio The Church, the record feels like it was recorded somewhere gothic, foreboding and antiquated. However amidst its dulcet tones and thunderous strings, it’s a record that contains a sprightly optimism – a melting pot of genres that comes from a band in which three artists who get inspired from three different places work together so well.
Opener Rooting For You welcomes back vocalist Hannah Reid’s distinctive vocals, which overlay the gentle reverb coming from the ornately arranged instrumentation. The Jon Hopkins produced Big Picture slowly builds into an emotionally charged number, drawing out some tasty electronic production, signalling the more electronic-pop direction the album has taken.
Wild Eyed follows the pattern of building gently and slow, guided by deeply toned and foreboding strings before it erupts into emotional clarity. Oh Woman Oh Man feels like a gospel hymn on relationships and is quite a heady ballad expertly illustrated via the shattering guitars and slowly simmering drum beat.
Other tracks also give them a run for their money, with Non Believer giving off slow-paced funk anguish. Leave The War With Me also pulls on the heartstrings with more crooning vocals and a slightly jazzy drum-beat, once again showing the genre versatility that the album possesses. Eponymous track Truth Is a Beautiful Thing is a slow procedural ballad evoking feelings of shimmering clarity.
In some ways, Truth Is a Beautiful Thing feels like a canvas – of which London Grammar, talented as they are, encapsulate emotion into an audible form. Whatever the inspiration, or the creative drive behind those tracks, or what the inner machinations of the band actually is, is a moot point – there is a sentiment to be gained from this record which the three members drive you towards.
From the deep sultry vocals of Reid to the encapsulating electronic production from Dot Major to the shimmering guitars provided by Dan Rothman, this album is the work of three friends, three musicians and three minds – and it’s the results of that which makes this record so cohesive in form. It is a testament to the existing creative bond between them that this melding of creative efforts is indeed a beautiful thing.