Los Campesinos! – 'Romance Is Boring: 10th Anniversary Reissue' Album Review

January 21, 2020

Tracklist:

1. In Medias Res 

2. There Are Listed Buildings 

3. Romance Is Boring 

4. We’ve Got Your Back (Documented Minor Emotional Breakdown #2) 

5. Plan A 

6. 200- 102 

7. Straight In At 101 

8. Who Fell Asleep In 

9. I Warned You - Do Not Make An Enemy Of Me 

10. Heart Swells/100- 1 

11. I Just Sighed. I Just Sighed, Just So You Know 

12. A Heat Rash In The Shape Of The Show Me State: Or, Letters From Me To Charlotte 

13. The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future 

14. This Is A Flag. There Is No Wind 

15. Coda: A Burn Scar In The Shape Of The Sooner State 

16. Too Many Flesh Suppers (Bonus Track)

 

 

“Romance Is Boring” is a wonderful Indie Pop album. The third effort from the Cardiff-based seven-piece still remains as varied, poignant and ambitious 10 years down the line as it did upon its 2010 release. This fifteen track epic marks a major departure from the twee and upbeat tone of “Hold On Now Youngster” and “We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed”, with decidedly darker themes and bleaker subject matter. 

 

Although “Romance Is Boring” marks a brave change of direction from its more two predecessors, the emotions on display are every bit as prevalent, if not more so. A further difference from the previous two releases in the band’s discography would be the darker themes on display in “Romance Is Boring”. These are perhaps most noticeable in one of the album’s lead singles, “The Sea Is A Good Place to Think of the Future”, a four minute and thirty second epic about teenage depression and self medication. Contrasted to earlier singles such as “You! Me! Dancing!”, this feels almost like a coming-of-age, where over time hopeless romanticism has given way to deep cynicism and self loathing. 

 

Even the opening track, “In Media Res” feels somehow more mature, with light and airy glockenspiels making way for a heavier, more percussion based synth noise, not to mention the catharsis of the brass crescendo. This Grunge sound is carried throughout the remaining fifteen tracks of the reissue, moving ever further away from the charming sounds of the student band’s prior releases.

 

However, whilst I could talk until blue in the face about the stronger points of “Romance Is Boring”, it would be remiss not to consider the quality of the reissue itself. Fans of physical media and collectors alike will be immensely satisfied that “Romance Is Boring” is being reissued on both vinyl (gold coloured double vinyl, no less, with a download code for a bonus EP) and CD, for the first time since its release in 2010. Conversely, those who decide to purchase the album digitally will feel somewhat short-changed. With just one bonus track (“Too Many Flesh Suppers”, previously only available with the itunes version of the album), it is difficult to feel enthusiastic for this reissue, as it feels somewhat lacking in new content. Furthermore, the remaster of the album feels somewhat unnecessary, and to the common and untrained listener shows little, if any difference to the original 2010 release. 

 

In closing, I would give the “Romance is Boring -10th Anniversary Reisssue” 3.5 stars out of 5. Whilst, like many other long term Los Campesinos! Fans, I have enjoyed rediscovering this wonderful album immensely, I can’t help but feel that as a reissue it lacks both value for money and purpose. 

Website - www.loscampesinos.com

 

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/loscampesinos/

 

Review -  Jamie Forcer

 

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