californian-soil-review

London Grammar – “Californian Soil” Review

Story posted April 25, 2021 in Arts & Entertainment by Jack Freiser.

“Californian Soil” is the third studio album by the English indie pop trio London Grammar. They have been releasing singles for this album since 2020, each single sparking excitement from fans creating a huge anticipation for this album. The album is pretty solid and although it might not be phenomenal, the band creates a great vibe and sticks with it throughout.

“Californian Soil” is very chill. From the start, with “Intro,” it is apparent that London Grammar focuses on having beautiful instrumentals.

It is also clear that the vibe of this album will be more calm unlike more upbeat, pop albums.

Hannah Reid, the vocalist, has an incredible voice. Her enunciation is very clear and her angelic vocals fit the vibe of the album. Her voice shines throughout the album, but on “Lose Your Head,” “Call Your Friends” and “How Does It Feel,” her voice is absolutely incredible in particular.

On these three tracks, Reid shows the most vocal range by effortlessly transitioning into her falsetto.

The instrumentation throughout the album can be a bit lackluster at times. Some songs seem to be too slow due to the non-existent beat. On songs such as “All My Love” and “Talking,” the beat never really hits, making the audience dissatisfied with the conclusion of these songs.

The songs sound longer than they are due to the over simplified instrumentals. Although these two songs are made to spotlight Reid’s beautiful vocals, the beat leaves something to be desired.

“Call Your Friends” is a very similar type of song to “All My Love” and “Talking,” yet it works since the beat has a little more character to it. Reid still shines, but the more mellow instrumentals still have a presence on the track.

Although the instrumentation is lacking in some tracks, in other songs the instrumentals absolutely shine. On tracks like, “Baby It’s You” and “California Soil,” the instrumentals have a clear presence that pair phenomenally with Reid’s vocals. In these two songs, Rothman and Major, the two other members of the band, are the stars.

The electronic elements throughout the album are apparent, but on tracks such as “Lose Your Head,” “How Does It Feel” and “Baby It’s You,” the electronic sounds are in full effect. These tracks work phenomenally well and are very enjoyable to listen to. It makes sense that these three songs were released as singles prior to the album's release. These three songs are more similar to London Grammar’s past albums, and these songs prove why they are still one of the best electronic-pop bands in the world.

Overall, “Californian Soil” is a very solid album. It isn’t the best album of London Grammar but it certainly is not bad. Reid’s vocals are pristine throughout the album. She is an absolute star and this album is more evidence to what a magnificent vocalist she is.

This album has some very high highs, however there are a couple of songs that are a bit mundane. They do not have the same personality a normal London Grammar song has. This is due to the fact that some of the instrumentals are lackluster and leaves more to be desired.

“Californian Soil” has a consistent vibe throughout, though, which is very chill and relaxing. Although the album may drag at times, it’s definitely worth checking out.

Rating: 7/10

Favorite Tracks: “Lose Your Head,” “How Does It Feel” and “Call Your Friends”

Least Favorite Tracks: “All My Love” and “Talking”

Jack Freiser is a freshman majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email jef5614@psu.edu.