April 7, 2003
The album starts with the very poppy, yet catchy El Salvador. Some might consider the effects and funny sounds to be a distraction of the song, but it actually gives the song a little more body. The song itself isn’t all that remarkable, but all in all it’s a pretty decent pop song.
Westside is a nice song, but it’s not energetic enough. The feel in the song is well done, and the vocals are very good. But it just doesn’t captivate the listener for the entirity of the song. It does get a little better along the way, but doesn’t really get one up and excited.
One of the best songs on this album. The groovy, alternative sound with the excellent vocals and some cool effects give this song an edge over the previous ones. It might still not be too electric or energetic, but that’s okay for this song. The sound is rich enough to still convince.
Shake Those Windows
Lyrically I adore this storytelling song. Musically too actually. It’s not gonna be a chart-topper, but it shows that this band is something special after all. Indie bands have been popping up by the millions in the UK in the past 5 years, but Athlete shows they have a bit of a different sound. And Shake Those Windows is a good proof of that. It might be a bit of a quiet song, but the build up is nice, and it has that wonderful storytelling quality.
Beautiful never really convinced me. It is probably one of the band’s commercially most attractive songs with the lush and balladry chorus, but the song doesn’t really go anywhere in my opinion. Though I admit it sounds much better live.
This is the best song on this album, hands down. It has that Athlete-sound and I can say pretty much the same thing about it as I said for Shake Those Windows, though New Project is even better and musically more diverse.
You Got The Style
You Got The Style is a bit more uptempo and it gets some more energy. And it would be my first choice for a radio single on this album, as it really has chart and radio potential. It’s quite catchy and it is an absolute sing-along. In this song the band ventures in a more Britpop sound which suits them well.
Vehicles & Animals
The title track of the album is up next. It’s a great and very melodic song that actually succeeds to convince me. Not really a break-through song but the real music lover will recognize the talent and passion in this song and embrace it gladly. The band shows to be lyrically profound and they can gently paint a picture with the music.
Out Of Nowhere
On this song I can’t complain about the band not being energetic, cause in their own way they are, alternative too. But the song doesn’t really seem to fit the band’s sound, and leaves me with mixed feelings, cause I do like the effort put into the song and the intention’s pretty great, but the song just doesn’t really come out all that superbly.
It’s like a mellow, British, band version of Bob Dylan. It doesn’t really reach that level of quality, but I do see a resemblance. It’s a nice melodic storytelling song that carries along quite nicely. But like so many of Athlete’s songs on this album, it just misses a little bit of spunk to really convince and draw in the universal music lover.
You Know never really succeeds to keep me interested for very long. The chorus is okay, but the song kinda fades in the verses, and it’s not powerful or catchy enough to lift it to a higher level.
The band ends this album in a pretty good fashion I must say. Le Casio has a nice, clever melody and I actually find myself swaying along to the music. It also helps that it’s not too long and that the music is a bit myserious. Good ending for an album that does show promise, though the band needs to grow.
“Vehicles & Animals” might spark some attention in the UK, but outside of the homeland I’d be suprised if Athlete makes a big name for themselves with this album. The band is good, musically, but they need time to grow and balance out more. The intention and passion is there, but the band isn’t ready to storm the charts and pull out masses to stadiums yet.