Slow Club, Complete Surrender – Review
Sheffield duo Charles Watson and Rebecca Taylor, otherwise known as Slow Club, return with their third LP, Complete Surrender. Once again, the record displays the band’s varied spectrum of influences which range from Frankie Valli and Marvin Gaye to Katy Perry and Taylor Swift. At times, their sound is pared back and melancholy, but mostly devilishly playful and vibrant as the record uses brass and strings to weave through pop and indie with huge dollops of soul.
The dynamic between the two singers continues to be excellent. Indeed, there is a certain Win Butler / Régine Chassagne feel to the albums’s title-track. Similarly, yhey also combine brilliantly on Pieces. But though the duo share vocal responsibilities, Rebecca Taylor’s star ascends with each passing album and her evolution from indie-girl to pop icon continues at pace. The sighs she delivers on Everything is New take the song into dreamlike territory before it leaps into a crashing crescendo and back again. On The Queen’s Noise she belts out a powerful vocal, and the soulful Suffering You, Suffering Me nods to the pop landscape of decades past with her strong voice complimented by brass and strings. On Not Mine To Love she perfectly treads the line between sultry and lover-lorn.
That’s not to say that Charles Watson is overshadowed on Complete Surrender. On downbeat piano ballad, Number One, he offers a soft, gentle vocal and poignant lyrics, while Taylor harmonises effortlessly.“TV Shows rewarding treachery/I’m watching now and I will be the same time next week/Just to learn how to look away”. Later, Watson’s delivery over the acoustic guitar of Paraguay and Panama is nuanced and pretty.
Complete Surrender is a well-balanced, big, bold, soulful pop record which knows just how to far to take things and exactly when to pull back. Slow Club just get better and better with every release.
Complete Surrender review by Bobby Townsend