Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

The Thrills feel the chill

The punters have spoken and they are blanking Teenager. First-week sales figures for The Thrills’ new album were just as disappointing as the critical reaction to the band’s third album. In Ireland, Teenager went into the album charts at number …

Fri, Aug 3, 2007, 09:21

   

The punters have spoken and they are blanking Teenager. First-week sales figures for The Thrills’ new album were just as disappointing as the critical reaction to the band’s third album.

In Ireland, Teenager went into the album charts at number 24 on the back of just over 600 sales. At the time of writing, the album has slipped to number 29 on the midweek chart.

While the band performed well in Britain on their two previous releases, this was not the case with Teenager. The album limped into the Top 50 at number 48 in what was a very quiet week for new releases and was unable to out-sell year-old releases from Oasis, James Morrison and Kasabian.

During the lead-up to the album’s release, reviews of the album were largely negative with very few critics scoring it higher than two or three out of five.

The Guardian signalled out “cheesy lyrics” and “Conor Deasy’s reedy voice” for criticism, while The Independent found the band “labouring to sustain an increasingly threadbare formula, with an inevitable decline in songwriting standards”.

As is often the case, Irish reviews were kinder to the south Dublin band. The Ticket’s Tony Clayton-Lea said the album “reaches the triumphant summery heights of their 2003 debut, “So Much for the City”,” and the RTE Guide’s Alan Corr praised the album’s “trebly guitar sound, plangent mandolin and searing conviction”.

The Sunday Tribune’s Una Mullally pointed out, however, that “there’s little dexterity in the musicianship, and the whole thing feels stifled and forced.”

But the band and their label will be probably more concerned with the underwhelming retail response to the album, especially in Ireland. It’s a particularly terrible performance given the band’s high profile and the fact that it is their thrid album.

In their defence, you could point to the decision to go for a summer release date and the band’s low-key touring schedule. However, a late June release didn’t hinder the prospects of their So Much for the City debut four years ago.

Of course, sales may improve when the band tour later in the year. But such a low first week tally may well discourage the label from expanding more time, money and effort on the release. The Thrills could well be another Irish act facing a rocky future.

UPDATE “Teenager” dropped one place in the Irish charts today (it’s now at number 25) and the band have sold just over 1,000 copies in total.

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