January 31, 2005
The album opener is a nice piano-accompanied indie pop song. The focus on the vocals/lyrics works really well and it leads in the album very nicely. The songs builds up slowly but surely and the suspense that is built up has a certain passion and energy inside. Chances is a very good way to start this album.
Half Light is one of the obvious radio single choices. It’s catchy, energetic and most of all the song is just very good. You’ll find yourself singing or humming the song a while after you heard it, and the lyrics speak to a lot of people too. The chorus is gold and it might propel Athlete’s name up high in the charts.
We then reach the title track of this break-through album. It’s a pretty decent song with a prominent alternative britpop feel and sound to it. There might be some Travis-influences here and there, but the song misses that real climax. The build-up is nice but it doesn’t really get to a point where you feel completely satisfied.
I’ve always found this song too thin. But then I heard it live, and it was this very intimate and melodic version, with the focus completely on the passionately performed vocals and subtle musical sophistication. This song’s grown on me like no other on “Tourist”.
The single candidate Wires is one of the better songs on this album. It’s rich and catchy and fits in England’s Britpop tradition like a charm. Fans are gonna eat this one up, and with a little luck, so will the charts. This is the road this band is taking and it fits them very well. This is what they do best.
If I Found Out
If I Found Out sounds better acoustically than it does on the album. It sounds a little tame on the album, while the song has a really intimate version acoustically. The full band electric version live is also a lot better, and has so much more energy and is even catchier than on the album. So basically it’s a song with potential that doesn’t reach it fully on the album.
Yesterday Threw Everything At Me
This might just be the best song on the album, musically. The guitar work is great and the drums are really keeping this song together. And the vocals are perfect and passionate and they bring out the lyrics and message of the song amazingly well. The band pauses and accentuates in the right places and the song was instantly one of my favorites.
On Street Map the band goes back to their intimate, piano-accompanied, indie song character. This song comes out really well, though a little more fire would be cool sometimes, but the gentle, almost breakable sound is the other way to go, and Athlete knows how to play that card very well.
Modern Mafia is another real Britpop song with its catchy and energetic (kinda like Kaiser Chiefs) melody and bawdy vocals. The song comes out much better live, but it’s pretty good on the album as well. Not the band’s best track, but it can claim a rightful place on this album.
Twenty Four Hours
Another excellent song. It’s a song that gets better every time you listen to it. The song kind of builds up itself and gets the listener involved. It has the ability to nestle itself in your head and you’ll be silently singing it to yourself many times without even realizing it. It is one of those songs that just convinces, one of those songs you know are good.
Sadly, we’ve reached the album closer, I Love, which is a gentle song with superb vocals. It’s a very fitting end to this album that puts the name of Athlete on the map. The band isn’t ready to be superstars yet, but there are a couple of potential hit songs on “Tourist” and even though the gentle, clever I Love isn’t one of those it is a song that warms your heart.
I had my doubts about this band after their debut album, but on this sophomore effort I’m convinced that this band has something going for themselves. The music fits and they present it well. The songs are quite catchy and the sound is fuller and more energetic, without losing that indie, intimate feel. “Tourist” is an album the band can be proud of, and Athlete is a band we can be happy with.