Album Reviews

Kodaline

Coming Up For Air

Artist:     Kodaline

Album:     Coming Up For Air

Label:     RCA

Release Date:     02/17/2015

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Still riding a wave of worldwide success courtesy of its debut album, A Perfect World, Kodaline was not about to rest on its well-earned laurels. The Irish foursome of friends Steve Garrigan (lead vocals), Mark Prendergast (guitar), Jason Boland (bass) and Vinny May (drums) had no intention of heading back into the studio so soon after the October 2013 release of their first record, but an invitation to spend time experimenting with different instruments in the Topanga Canyon, CA studio of fellow Irishman and lauded producer Jacknife Lee (U2, Snow Patrol) proved too tempting an offer. The result of the band’s time with Lee and its newfound interest in the synthesizer proved to be the first breaths of life that came from its sophomore set, Coming Up for Air.

As Prendergast explained, “We only did four songs with Jacknife,” including planting the seed for the album’s first single “Honest,” which was later finalized back on home soil. Members of Kodaline raced right back into the studio and eventually resurfaced with a plethora of forward-leaning future classics, including the haunting “Unclear,” the soaring “Autopilot,” the Coldplay-compatible “Coming Alive,” with it’s huge hook, and the epic album closing “Love Will Set You Free.”

Is Coming Up for Air Kodaline’s coming of age album? Will it be the group’s sonic shift equivalent to, say, U2’s Achtung Baby? According to Prendergast, “We didn’t try and pigeonhole ourselves into just having a ‘sound.’ We didn’t want to make In a Perfect World again; we didn’t want to make the same album twice.”

Ready or not, Kodaline devotees have a dozen new songs to enjoy, and honestly, for any diehard fan, in a perfect world, isn’t that the best news ever?

-Jim Villanueva

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