“Runaway” by The Magic Numbers
When I think of the Magic Numbers I always go back to the charming 2005 self titled debut by the English folk pop quartet. I think everyone has one or two albums that were really influential in determining the type of music that they currently identify with. For me, that debut was one of them. It struck just the right balance between being quirky and emotionally charged. It was elegant without sounding pretentious. It was exciting, and I think it began open my eyes to the fact there was a lot if good music being made out there beyond the classic rock radio station. Unfortunately, the band’s latest release, “The Runaway” was none of these things.
Maybe maturing isn’t always the best thing for a band. I think that when you’re young all of your opinions and emotions are amplified. And that was apparent on the band’s debut. The highs were high (see “Love Me Like You”) and the lows were painfully, tear-jerkingly low (see “I See You, You See Me”). But on “The Runaway” the band seems to meander through this dull middle ground that is neither gleeful nor truly mournful. It’s kind of like indie folk purgatory. The finished product may have a slightly more “polished” sound, than did their debut but all in all it seemed about as inspired as the music that plays while you waiting for you local weather report, or the menu at Denny’s.
Maybe this is all a bit harsh. I mean nothing on “The Runaway” was offensively bad.It was just a hard album to really get into. The one possible exception would be the song “A Start With No Ending”. It’s the only track that really has a hook. Combine that with the playful vocal harmonies (reminiscent of their earlier stuff), and you have the only song that tries to pump some much needed life into this album. Overall, the saddest thing about this one is that, you know what these guys are capable of, and it is certainly a lot more than this sleeper.
The Runaway – 1.5 out of 5