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Since the release of their debut album In Love it’s clear that dandyish Midlands-based indie pop act Peace have a distinct knack for churning out typical pop songs with an indie twist. In Love was an album that encapsulated happiness, which lead to positive thinking. That album had its clear influences and now Peace are back with their second album entitled Happy People and as the title which suggests, they haven’t strayed too far from their happy sounding influences.

Upon first listen Happy People sounds like a standard and steady second album where nothing has been tampered with. Everything is a little more polished and professional. The album starts with track ‘O You’ which begins with something you might hear in an old Victorian music box, and then as frontman Harry Koisser sings about wanting to “change the world that you love in”, the melodic guitars that Peace have become famous for kick in. It’s not the greatest album opener as it’s slightly sluggish and takes a while to get going but it leaves you wanting to listen on to see if the album improves (which it does).

Peace have a good ear when it comes to choosing what works in a pop song and the first track that stands out upon first listen is the heavily pop-based ‘Lost On Me’ which has an incredibly memorable and catchy chorus but like the album as a whole it feels like we’ve been here before with Peace, it’s all very melodic and catchy but it feels like a work in progress. There are however two tracks in particular that make you stop and think about the direction Peace perhaps want to go in; those tracks follow each other on the album.

‘Money’ is an extremely funky song with a killer lead guitar introduction in which Koisser sings about the power that money has over people and the subsequent track ‘I’m a Girl’ is a song about the rejection of male stereotypes which has an immense chorus combined with heavy guitar riffs – something that Peace haven’t added in to their music up until now and it works really well with all the musical elements Peace are known for. ‘I’m a Girl’ is almost the perfect combination of pop, rock and glam.

Judging by Happy People it’s clear that Peace are still are work in progress. They have the potential to go any way they want to, whether that be making an all-pop album or combining elements of various genres. Happy People is a step up from In Love but there are still some screws that need tightening.

Tom Staniszewski

rating73

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