Contrary to the title, the third album from alternative pop monarch Grouplove is not, in fact, a big mess. Released in September of 2016 to excited fans and excellent feedback, Big Mess showcases eleven textbook examples of Grouplove’s indie rock prowess.
Throughout the album – which is all over the board, but in a good way – colorful melodies splatter across each song as vocalists Christian Zucconi and Hannah Hooper croon intriguing stories of ever-powerful positivity. Right from the start, with Welcome To Your Life, lyrics about a twisted world that can be beautiful draw you in while funky percussion layers over rocking guitar. The rest of the album continues similarly, with songs like Spinning, a fast-paced fiery track about overcoming struggle, and Heart Of Mine, where Zucconi sings about soulmates.
It’s packed full of confident, complex – yet not frantic – hits, and each song seems more complex than the last. The lyrics are intriguing and capture your attention with even a single line, and each new twist – like unexpected screaming on Traumatized or the weirdly percussive Don’t Stop Making It Happen – only serves to make the album more invigorating. As a whole, Big Mess is altogether stronger than Grouplove’s previous records.
I love Grouplove. They’re the epitome of power indie pop, and they’ve certainly solidified that title with Big Mess. Maybe it should’ve been on my Top 10 of 2016, but there were too many good albums last year to even consider. Either way, this album is an excellent way to reflect and reminisce about the wonderful music that came out of 2016. It’s a textbook example. So what are you waiting for? Go check it out!