Album Review

Tokyo Police Club "Champ"

Brent Andermann
I would have never guessed that this band would have what it takes to so masterfully capture this era as they have. As it has always been, it’s the simple pop songs that has had the ability communicate to everyone in all walks of life. Champ is so full of winning, heartfelt wisdom and exuberance that it could easily be the soundtrack of this summer and every summer for the next decade.

This is a band that everyone expected to fade away with the rest of the hype crowd, but they’ve coming out with something that is all together their own. They have not “matured” at all, and that’s why they’re still around. They’re still yelping and dancing with bright eyed reverence for youth and the adventure of answering lifelong questions. Even the song titles “Bambi”, “Favourite Food”, and “First Date Kit”( the album’s closer that ends with a dance party rather than a front porch acoustic reminiscent number) exude a need for all of us to remember it’s not what you have, but how much fun you’re having. Easily the standout track, though, is the slow burning, bouncy “End of a Spark”. David Monk spends less time pleading with with society to wake up and revolt, and focuses more on the delicate balance we must all keep in life. That seems to be the theme of this record, someone who has spent so much time on hell bent crusades to save the world from themselves that they never took the time to make things right in their own life.

Off the topic of semantics, Champ isn’t musically that far a stretch from their last record Elephant. They allowed some room for something different, like the synth rock number “Gone”, the arena ready anthem “Breakneck Speed”, and the aforementioned dance party that closes the record “First Date Kit.” What all this experimentation and excitement for life really means is that this is a group of young men who are ready to write music that is both fun and that speaks to our generation, rather than just talking at them and telling them how to live.

Note: If you’re listening to the non-US release, the closing track is the song “Frankenstein”.