It’s been an eventful few years for Glasvegas. They were up for the Mercury Prize, they opened for U2, their drummer quit, singer James Allan disappeared for a week.. and then they holed up in a southern California mansion to record album number two.
The writing and recording process took a full year, and the result is a concept album of sorts. EUPHORIC /// HEARTBREAK \ is obviously more lush and grandiose than its predecessor. Synthesizers and a real drummer (former drummer Caroline McKay learned on the job and was rudimentary at best) flesh out Allan’s heartfelt compositions and take them to more dynamic heights.
As the Kanye-style title suggests, the album has a decidedly split personality, featuring rousing anthems and maudlin laments. For our purposes, we’ll focus on the euphoric part and leave the heartbreak for another time.
The true album opener is “The World Is Yours” which announces their ambitious new direction:
The simplicity of “You” would be at home on the first album, but production polish takes it to another level:
If there’s a track that truly sheds Glasvegas’ skin it’s the arena ready “Shine Like Stars”:
The first single, “Euphoria, Take My Hand,” sums up Allan’s themes of love and loss:
Allan’s Scottish brogue may be too much for mainstream success, but then again it may be just charming enough. Either way, the bombast of EUPHORIC /// HEARTBREAK \ makes it hard to ignore.
Visit the Glasvegas website, share the preview player on facebook and you can unlock a stream of the entire album.