Two Door Cinema Club: “Keep On Smiling” album review

Story posted September 6, 2022 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by Rachel Fisher

The Northern Irish trio, Two Door Cinema Club, just released another album attempting to redefine their sound, as their 2010 indie pop hit is still their most played song.

On their fifth studio album, “Keep On Smiling,” Two Door Cinema Club continued to take risks and change up their sound.

This time, the band included elements of funk and ‘80s pop to make something electronic and different.

They combined this style with lyrics of positive messages about reminiscing on the past and looking optimistically toward the future. Although seemingly a perfect pairing, this album falls short and was ultimately a disappointing listen.

The first song on the album is just an intro that includes electronic synths that blend and build up anticipation, and then it transforms into synths that are relaxing and soothing.

After setting up the next song with a unique intro, it was oddly funky and clashed with the vibes of the one before it. The weirdness of it starts to seem cooler as the song progresses, but overall it disappoints and even lacks originality, as it sounds just like a song that Foster the People would release.

The song that follows, “Everybody’s Cool,” has some high-pitched vocals and catchy elements that make this song a better listen, but it still doesn’t bring much to the table.

Finally, the song, “Lucky,” could fill ears with something great. The verses are catchy, the message is positive, inspiring and the melody is angelic, especially during the instrumental-only aspects.

However, after the one redeeming song thus far into the album, “Little Piggy” was rather unmemorable, as well as “Millionaire,” although it did have a cool melody switch and a funky disco vibe.

“High” was more slow-paced but the lead singer, Alex Trimble, definitely sang his heart out on this one. The vocals were passionate and powerful, and is really when the vocals stood out for the first time. “Wonderful Life” followed similarly, slightly building up expectations for something more.

Again, the album seems to fall short with “Feeling Strange”, as it is one of the couple of songs that are boring and repetitive, and really does not make any lasting impression.  The lyrics also fail at being relatable and come off as cringy instead.

“Won’t Do Nothing” was a bit of a shock as the vocals start out heavily edited with a change in pitch.  The song transforms into a fun and upbeat chorus bursting with harmonic vocals, but the rest of the song did not match.

The next song on the album is only about a minute and mirrors the intro, but has some added harmonic singing along with the synths. Although pretty, this song, along with the intro, clashes with the vibrancy of the rest of the tracks.

The last song on the album, “Disappear,” unfortunately did not end the album with a bang. The vocals are again not as raw as they are in other songs, and although there was a uniquely cool and powerful instrumental outro, the edited and lacking vocals make this song another disappointment.

Two Door Cinema Club tried to make a funky upbeat album that overall fell short in a lot of ways. There were clashes in sounds and monotone and edited vocals that do not match the band’s potential.

It is admirable how they want to explore new sounds and add different elements into their work, but hopefully, in the future, they will stick to what they are good at.

Rating: 4/10
Reviewer’s Favorite Songs: “Lucky”
Reviewer’s Least Favorite Songs: “Little Piggy,” “Feeling Strange”

Rachel Fisher is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email