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Picture This, MDRN LV - album review

By Leigh Sanders | Birmingham entertainment | Published:

Picture This are a modern sensation in their native Ireland.

The album cover

Their self-titled debut album in 2017 was certified triple-platinum in their home country, it held the No.1 spot in the Irish Album Chart for four weeks, while topping the streaming chart for seven weeks. Moreover, it remained in the Top 5 for 38 consecutive weeks.

They are trying to replicate that success over here now, but they might have to wait a little longer given the lack of any real excitement within 12 tracks on this hotly anticipated follow-up.

An alt-pop act very much in the mould of The 1975, like so many other impersonators of Matt Healy's chart juggernaut Picture This lack any real inspiration and fail to stir up many emotions through their over-polished pop romps.

So much here just follows on from the track before with slight variations. It's like when the eJay music making series first hit the PC game shelves and the options were limited.

They go for big, raucous choruses in If You Wanna Be Loved, but they feel safe and radio-friendly.

They try a slightly different tack with Someone To Hold - CXLOE joins them for a pop ballad duet that feels overlong. The better bits are tellingly when CXLOE is allowed to bellow out her parts with the powerful vocal chords she possesses.

That said, Ryan Hennessey is a good vocalist. His range is impressive, he can smash the high notes without much effort. The only problem is the lack of excitement around him just makes it feel like he is auditioning for The X Factor with a soft backing track.

Fans of indie-pop ballads may still lap this up. It's something to entertain for a period before falling out of favour when a better option comes along.

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And the disappointingly short romantic entanglement they fear in More Than Just Tonight will probably become a reality. Admittedly, this is one of the better efforts on the album with the slow-burn approach culminating in a stomping pop finale that will be good fun when watching them live.

Sadly, little else will probably hold the attention of the quick gratification generation they want to woo.

Rating: 3/10

Picture This play Birmingham's O2 Institute 2 on March 21

Leigh Sanders

By Leigh Sanders
@LSanders_Star

Senior sub editor for the MNA portfolio and entertainments writer leaning towards features and reviews. Get releases to me at leigh.sanders@expressandstar.co.uk

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