Kodaline: Politics of Living review – gunning for America with a fistful of hollow anthems
Politics of Living
Now that they’re established as one of the most internationally successful Irish bands of their generation, is it time for Kodaline to get deep?
The title of the Dublin four-piece’s third album certainly sets the stage for frontman Steve Garrigan to join the do-gooder ranks of Bono and Chris Martin, but in truth it’s about as significant as the hollow sentiment behind these songs.
Kodaline are a band who write anthems – nothing wrong with that. Here, however, it sounds like they are gunning for the US market like never before, the glossy dance beat of Hide & Seek, the auto-tuned emotion of Born Again and enough rousing choruses to tire out the hardiest of audiences. Even their use of the word “pavement” on the Coldplay-lite of Worth It is telling.
They strip the glossy platitudes back on Angel (a song written for a fan who passed away following their Dublin gig in 2016) and I Wouldn’t Be, where both the overbearingly pristine studio glare and Garrigan’s voice are played down (albeit with the bizarre addition of bagpipes).
Overall, though, this really could be an album by any band; individualism and identity, it turns out, are underrated.