A few years ago, The Bravery was a guilty pleasure in the vein of Hot Fuss and Is This It. Not necessarily a breakthrough album, but something that could stay in the player longer than you'd care to admit. The Bravery's follow-up, The Sun and the Moon, is guiltless because it lacks pleasure. Showing no ambition or guts with this sophomore slop, The Bravery merely provides the major label service of AIC (Alternative for the Intellectually Challenged).
It would be nice if music was like sports and numbers could be retired from further use by people who are not legendary. For example, once guitarist Michael Zakarin starts "This Is Not the End" just like "London Calling", and Sam Endicott's vocals kick in boorishly, it is maddening that anyone would have the audacity to thieve for such a worthless track. It had to be difficult though to work musically around a mostly lackluster effort of clichι and predictable lyrics. The rhymes are so absolutely tacky; The Sun and the Moon becomes a game of finish Endicott.
Here's a few to test your ability (answers at bottom):
1. "I think we grew under a bad sun/I know we're not like ________."
2. "You'll always be my close friend/This is not ___ ____." (two words)
3. "We live on jet _____/So many faces, I don't know the ______."
The Sun and the Moon does find its pop charm on "Time Won't Let Me Go" and "Split Me Wide Open". Tending to be more reflective and vivid conceptually, bassist Michael Barreto Hindert has an Adam Clayton presence of solid perfection while John Conway creates a hook to compliment each song. On an album of failed attempts to be The Beatles ("The Ocean" and "Tragedy Bound") and The Clash ("This Is Not The End" and "Above and Below"), the best moments happen when The Bravery sticks to the footsteps of Duran Duran (or, in their case, Arcadia), The Killers and Hot Hot Heat.
From The Bravery, I always assumed (and never bothered to double check) the band was from England. Unfortunately, The Sun and the Moon is America's blame to accept. More importantly, someone should investigate Vassar's admission standards.
(Answers: 1. everyone 2. the end 3. planes/names)
Tracks added to iPod: Time Won't Let Me Go, Split Me Wide Open