album reviews

The Bravery
The Sun and the Moon
Island (2007)

The Bravery's 2005 self-titled debut thrust the quintet into a league of bands whose energetic dance-rock received an overwhelming amount of press attention, but the group always seemed to be in the shadow of such peers as Interpol and the Killers. Though its sophomore effort, "The Sun and the Moon," is unlikely to propel the Bravery into the land of the overhyped, this 40-minute collection shows the group's growth into a more solidly rock-based sound.

That change comes mostly from the group's departure from synth-heavy songs: Gone are the bleepy electronics that made the song "An Honest Mistake" such a catchy hit. John Conway's keyboards are still prevalent on a few tracks (most notably, the fluttering psych-pop "Fistful of Sand"), but the Bravery relies more on its guitars and on developing strong melodies. Sam Endicott's voice soars on the passionate "Believe," and an airy whistle intro on "Bad Sun" captures a shimmering '60s feel that is echoed in the harmonizing "ba-ba-bas" on "Time Won't Let Me Go" and "Angelina."

Although "Sun" may make listeners more inclined to bob their heads than shake their booties, the Bravery's unwavering energy helps ground the group's sonic transition. As such, the slower, mopey "Tragedy Bound" saps the album's overall flow, but luckily, the track is barely longer than two minutes and doesn't detract too much from the rest of "Sun's" bouncy fervor.

-- Catherine P. Lewis

.: Originally published: The Washington Post: 1 June 2007, Page WE07
.: The Sun and the Moon on