In contrast to the starry-eyed ode to Southern California that was So Much For The City
, The Thrills' sunny sentiments grow cloudy on its sophomore outing, Let's Bottle Bohemia
. The Irish quintet still mines retro references -- guests such as former Beach Boys collaborator Van Dyke Parks and arranger Michel Colombier enhance the band's authenticity -- but it provides a more tangled perspective than before, evidenced in song titles like "Faded Beauty Queens" and "The Curse of Comfort." Front man Conor Deasy's aching, plaintive vocals reinforce the pervading melancholia, as echoed in the cynicism of "Found My Rosebud" and the dark resignation reverberating through "Not For All the Love In the World." Sadly, though, Let's Bottle Bohemia's
melodies sound so similar that it's difficult to distinguish one from another. A bottled Bohemia
makes for a less distinctive brew.