Not much has changed with Young the Giant over the past half-decade. Sameer Gadhia is still an absolute badass frontman and they still write songs that play to their strength while just being good rock songs too. That said, I wasn’t crazy about “Mind Over Matter” even after letting it digest for a few months. I’m a lot happier with their new album, “Home of the Strange”.
There was just something about how much they used synths on their last record and the vibe of the songs that didn’t fit quite right. Everything played like a good My Morning Jacket record. I don’t want to listen to My Morning Jacket when I listen to Young The Giant, I want to listen to Young the Giant. That’s why “Home of the Strange” is somewhat refreshing. At least for most of the album there’s some focus on bringing back things to the band’s roots - Sameer singing over some pretty sweet riffs and some steady percussion. It doesn’t last throughout the whole album, but there’s far more of it here than there was on “Mind Over Matter.”
There’s a little more focus on guitar work here, but the synths are still a point of emphasis too. That said, they’re better at implementing them that they were on the last record. There wasn’t anything to get into on the last record too much – compare that to this one where there are songs like “Silvertongue” – which is a solid track and suits them far better than they did on the last record.
Young the Giant’s third record isn’t their best. They’re going to be trying to live up to their debut album probably for the rest of their careers, but they won’t be the first rock band to confront that problem. That said, if you still think that that Sameer Gadhia is one of the best frontmen in rock – and he is – then you’ll love this album.