Two years after the release of their highly rated debut Forget Your Ghosts, Phoenix Calling are back with their sophomore album Our Lost Hearts. After such a strong start back in 2015, how well do the Cambridgeshire 5-piece live up to their last album?
The answer is, not the best that they could. The album keeps hold of some of the positives clearly shown and appreciated in ‘Forget Your Ghosts’, however, this record seems to lack anything real signs of progression. This isn’t to say that ‘Our Lost Hearts’ doesn’t have its moments. ‘Rescue Me’ consumes the lighter rock style atmosphere of the album whereas ‘Sins and Thieves’ brings a contrasting, amplifying heavier bassline and creating a darker juxtaposition between the tracks.
Yet, it seems that this contrast between the atmosphere between songs is the only real difference between the tracks Phoenix Calling bring. While it's unfair to claim that Our Lost Hearts lacks any kind of differentiation, there is a sense of repetition both vocally and musically leads the album becoming quite predictable. Even different slower tracks such as ‘Along The Way’ and ‘Time Runs Out’ have a distinct similarity to them and lack any real punch to set them apart from each other.
On the other hand, there are tracks that bring a promising outlook to the album. Opener ‘Atlas’ offers a fiery start to the album with a good structure and strong choruses and verses throughout. ‘Only Choices Decide’ also offers that kick the album needs bringing melodic aspects merged into the bands rock infused style.
Moving on from their great debut album isn’t easy, and it seems as if Phoenix Calling have fallen victim to this. This album has its moments, and is still worth a listen. However, in terms of that spark we all look for in an album, Our Lost Hearts does fall down into the lacking side this time.