Album Review: Friends - Manifest!

23 June 2012 | 10:38 pm | Katherine Edmonds

Manifest! is brimming with Friends' trademark uncomplicated, party-appropriate melodies.

Still cruising along on the success of singles, I'm His Girl and Friend Crush, Brooklyn indie-pop outfit Friends have given the people what they want with their debut album, Manifest!. Along with the aforementioned tracks, Manifest! is brimming with their trademark uncomplicated, party-appropriate melodies.

2011's smash hit, Friend Crush, kicks off with a steady beat and dulcet vocals - you can't help but croon along as Samantha Urbani coos, “I wanna be your friend”. Sorry and Home aren't standout tracks lyrically, but their indie-disco rhythm should earn them a spot on every hip Gen Y's party playlist if nothing else. I'm His Girl, certainly their best-known track to date, is the obvious champion of this album but there are a couple of other contenders if you really listen out for them. At times their tracks are a little clumsy, but it actually adds to the appeal. It's hard to picture a group like this in a recording studio as this album immediately conjures up imagery of Urbani and crew performing in the living room of a share-house, couches pushed back to the walls as a room full of twentysomethings get lost in the melody.

But as is the case with most debut albums, there's always going to be a track or two that don't quite belong. A Thing Like This seems to miss the mark here. True to form the beat is still catchy but Urbani's vocals border on 'pop-diva' shrill. Ouch. The same can't be said for Va Fan Gör Du, powerfully assertive with a foot-tapping tempo it does exactly what a penultimate track should do – leave you wanting more and more.

Inoffensive and lively, Manifest! is an album to be taken lightly, but in the very best sense.

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