There’s a new boy band in town, and they’ve finally made their official, full-length debut in the States! We’re talking about up and coming Brits, The Vamps, and what better title for their new release than Meet The Vamps? The album was originally released in the UK in April 2014, and made its leap across the pond this week to a growing and excited audience. If you love One Direction and 5 Seconds of Summer, the four lads in The Vamps are right up your alley.
We previously reviewed the Somebody To You EP, featuring Demi Lovato, and a few covers, which you can read here. The EP was a great preview of The Vamps’ original songs, and if you were eagerly awaiting more from the band, the deluxe version of Meet The Vamps will not disappoint.
The album opens with “Can We Dance,” The Vamps’ 2013 debut single and an instant favorite. It’s got just the right pep and energy to get you hooked. The lyrics are both alluring and sweet, and it’s all you can do but accept lead singer, Brad Simpson’s, invitation—to dance!
“Last Night,” another single, is also a party-type jam, reminiscent of One Direction’s “Live While We’re Young” and “Midnight Memories.” The themes are certainly the same, but The Vamps have their own sound, which they are clearly confident about in this song. You can tell just how much fun they have as a band, as well, and you genuinely want to be a part of it.
“Oh Cecilia (Breaking My Heart)” is one of The Vamps’ better covers. It is actually an adaptation of Simon and Garfunkel’s original, “Cecilia,” with some changes to the lyrics. The song is another cute, simply entertaining track. It took me a couple of listens to really get into this song, but now it has stuck, and I can’t seem to get the jumpy guitar beats out of my head.
“Girls On TV” starts out a bit cheesy, but Simpson’s voice is just too captivating and unique not to enjoy. I’ve also discovered that I have a weakness for any song with a ukulele, and the instrument’s use in this song makes it feel just like a carefree beach party. Simpson’s intonations add to this, especially his emphasis on “Rih-anna!” which will catch you smiling every time.
The Vamps slow it down with “Risk It All,” a lyrically beautiful song that has your heart aching as Simpson reaches the chorus. His voice strains further with every word, packing the passion into each extended note. The song definitely has a different tone, which is important in representing a band’s musical talent. This is specifically a struggle for boy bands, who often strive to break out of the mold and show that they have that rock and roll potential. “Risk It All” is a great track for The Vamps to have in their arsenal.
“Hurricane” is a feel-good song, plain and simple. Originally written for the movie, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, it is another upbeat, fun track with a message the likes of Andy Grammer’s “Keep Your Head Up.” There’s nothing too special or standout about “Hurricane,” but it’s not a bad song, either.
“Another World” is another slower track, though one I am constantly battling with on each listen. Initially, it reminded me of early Justin Bieber, songs I actually used to love like “That Should Be Me” and “Stuck In The Moment.” Today, however, I don’t find this a welcome comparison and was turned away from “Another World.” Yet somehow the song kept getting stuck in my head and I was easily singing right along with it. It’s a good enough ballad, but it does have a truly captivating ending. I love the way Simpson drags out the line, “They threw us to the wolves.” The musicality is slow and beautiful, and there is something in the way his voice lingers on “wolves” that brings out a lot of emotion both in him and the listener.
“She Was the One” is another song I was automatically drawn to, due to my fascination with the idea of “the one that got away.” Another slower song, the pairing of this track and “Another World” mellows out the album for a moment. It’s not as much of a standout as I’d like it to be, but again, I won’t deny the emotion that Simpson and The Vamps musically convey.
“Smile” is almost another “Hurricane.” The pace has picked back up, but the lyrics are not especially compelling or noteworthy. In fact, this may be my least favorite track because of how cliché and juvenile it is.
“High Hopes” is the first of the deluxe edition songs. It is fun and catchy with its staccato acoustic guitar. It’s simple and sweet and a bit cliché reminiscent of the Jonas Brothers’ “Just Friends,” but it’s beat and lightness keeps it from being cheesy or overdone.
“Shout About It” took several listens to cross my radar. The acoustic guitar is excellent and completely different from the rest of the album. There is also a nice touch of percussion that is radically different for The Vamps. Again, it’s great to show their range, but lyrically it just does not stick quite as well.
“Dangerous” is another track that crept up on me. There is a different foundation to the instrumentals with a unique role from electric guitar that plays in nicely with the lyrical content. “Dangerous” thus seems an apt title both lyrically and musically, which makes it clever overall.
Meet The Vamps is well worth a listen. It is streaming on Spotify and is available to download. The Vamps come to the scene strong and will surely only gain popularity with their U.S. release. They will perform on The Ellen Show with Demi Lovato on Monday, November 10th, so be sure to check them out!
“Can We Dance”
“Risk It All”