Viola Beach – Viola BeachCultureMusicAlbum reviews
The huge success of the album Viola Beach, named after the band, is a bittersweet tribute following the group’s tragic death in February. Assembled by family and friends from the work that had been created before they lost their lives, the nine songs on Viola Beach – honouring singer Kris Leonard, guitarist River Reeves, bassist Tomas Lowe, drummer Jack Dakin and their manager Craig Tarry – poignantly reveal talent in the process of development. The record that would have been made we’ll never see, but this compilation is a touching gift to the musicians and their fans.
Opening with their impressive debut single, Swings And Waterslides, with its Manchester flavour and its strong guitar and drums, the track is saved from being standard indie rock by its originality and complexity, and via Kris Leonard’s distinctive vocals. The song’s stand out charismatic style took it to No. 11 on the UK Singles chart and launched Viola Beach, establishing their legitimacy as a mainstream band.
At first bringing to mind a pub crawl atmosphere, Drunk is actually a spontaneous, melodically beautiful and energetic ballad. With its scintillating Caribbean flavour, the charming Really Wanna Call also slips past the boundaries of typical indie music. A highlight of the record, the highly romantic, soulful and emotional Call You Up conjures innocent longing, love and passion.
It was no mistake that Coldplay’s Chris Martin chose to recreate the upbeat, vibrant Boys that Sing at Glastonbury as a heartfelt tribute to Viola Beach. As a fitting and optimistic finale to the album, the choice is a positive, loving salutation to a talented group whose prospective gifts to the world we can only imagine.
Rather that perfection, what Viola Beach displays is brilliance in the making, a diamond semi-in-the-rough but with extraordinary potential. Yet, in their essence, all the tracks have a unique style and charisma, still carrying their own weight as top-of-the-charts material, proven by their tremendous popularity and success.
Viola Beach is released on 29th July 2016, for further information or to order the album visit here.
Watch the video for Boys that Sing here: