We Were Promised Jetpacks: The More I Sleep the Less I Dream Album Review

Story posted September 19, 2018 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by Scott Perdue

The up and coming Scottish alternative group, We Were Promised Jetpacks, are back after a four-year break to release their fourth studio album, The More I Sleep the Less I Dream. Playfully experimenting with a variety of soundscapes, the band is approaching on a far more mature and refined sound. Returning after such a long hiatus and the subsequent marriages of three of the four bandmates, We Were Promised Jetpacks seems to have taken a bit of a misstep with their latest release, yet are still able to exhibit that their potential has not faded.

We Were Promised Jetpacks are argueably most recognized for their songs “Quiet Little Voices” and “It’s Thunder and It’s Lightning." Originally, beginning as a high school band, the group, in classic music fashion, won their school’s Battle of the Bands challenge and have continued to make music together ever since. Now, far from their humble origin, We Were Promised Jetpacks have launched into the mainstream as a very respectable and down to earth indie group. While the band has grown a lot since their high school days of performing, their sound still hasn’t lost that unique youthful charm.

Utilizing a variety of soft and radiant grooves, The More I Sleep the Less I Dream is an ever shifting and fluid journey through a dreamscape of soothing tracks. Opening with the perplexing and serene “Impossible,” the album invites the listener to relax and lose themselves in a chilled and comforting soundscape. The album then moves to the aggressive and clashing “In Light,” which experiments with a harsher sound, exhibiting a blatant disparity from the album’s opening.

The album then begins to take a bit of a drop in resonance and isn’t really able to pick back up its momentum until the fresh and gentle “Hanging In." Throughout the album, We Were Promised Jetpacks channel a unique, yet similar sound to that of Coldplay, successfully allowing them to create comforting and enveloping soundscapes. However, their attempt to effortlessly glide through the album’s tracks backfires and leads to issues with memorability and particularly stand out moments. While songs like “Hanging In” and the chilled effervesant “When I Know More” are able to really leave a lasting impact, most of the rest of the album seems to lack a certain punch to give the album as a whole more of a defining resonance. While the band is successful in creating a variety of relaxed grooves, some of their more paranoid infused harsher tracks somewhat detract from the album’s flow as opposed to refreshing or relieving the listener.

As a whole, the album is not necessarily a total misstep. However, the album’s struggles of memorability and impact really shine through and are hard to overlook. Given that a lot of huge life changes have happened to the band in the last four years, it is understandable why their most recent album may not have been the strongest. While not exactly the triumphant return fans might have hoped for, We Were Promised Jetpacks still seems to not have lost their own special allure and will hopefully be better able to utilize their unique sound on a later release.

Rating: 6/10



Scott Perdue is a Sophomore majoring in film/video. To contact him, email rsp5246@psu.edu.