Ted Leo & The Pharmacists - The Brutalist Bricks
Over the past decade there have been few acts that have managed to combine energized political commentary with pop hooks as well as Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. This week they return with their latest opus, The Brutalist Bricks.
The past couple of years have been a long road to hoe for Leo. His wife became seriously ill and he toured full-bore to raise the money to be able to treat her. One can only imagine that making a new record was far from the first thing on his mind.
To some extent that comes through on the album. While songs like "The Mighty Sparrow" and "Gimme the Wire" are the high energy affairs we've come to expect from Leo, he seems to have trouble sustaining that level over the course of the record.
Though it has moments such as the catchy "Bottled In Cork", the songs of The Brutalist Bricks are less immediately gripping than Leo's recent output. The choruses are far weaker and less memorable.
Lyrically Leo's work is as strong as ever. Songs like "Ativan Eyes" detail the social class struggles as well as any musician writing today.
To his credit, Leo also steps out into unfamiliar (for him anyway), musical territory a couple of times on the album. "One Polaroid a Day" is an almost funky tune, while the down tempo "Tuberculoids Arrive In Hop" is billowing with ominous sounds and dark textures.
The Brutalist Bricks is by no means the strongest entry in the Ted Leo catalogue, but it does have it's moments.
User Reviews and CommentsLog In or Register to Rate Albums
Tell us why this album is great or sucks ass, or correct the reviewer. If you write enough quality reviews you may find yourself on the editorial staff.
Reviews have to be over 100 words, shorter ones are classed as comments.
on 2010-03-24 dscanland Said:
Very eery. I'm listening to Brutalistic Bricks right now! I haven't formulated my opinion right now, I really like "One Polaroid a Day" though!
on 2010-03-24 kev_stev Said:
I'd have to disagree with this one.. I give this release a solid 8/10. Really great stuff: some new experimentation along with vintage TL+Rx
on 2009-12-01 dscanland Said:
The Brutalist Bricks is the most anticipated albums of 2010, by me!