Casiotone for the Painfully Alone Vs. Children

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone Vs. Children
While Vs. Children may not be the most anticipated album of the year, it is one Casiotone fans have eagerly been looking forward to. After all, it's been three years since Owen Ashworth's last proper CFTPA full-length, Etiquette, a record that broke away from lo-fi pocket symphonies to deliver his most realised moment in sad-guy pop. In many ways, Vs. Children doesn't stray far from the path paved a few years back, once again blending warmer, more analog keyboards with increasingly organic instrumentation and production that's hardly lo-fi. However, Ashworth also sinks his teeth into heavier than usual subject matter this time out, with themes shifting between criminality and, as the title suggests, children, pregnancy and late night "accidents." It easily makes Vs. Children CFTPA's darkest record, but also the one that packs the hardest emotional punch, mostly due to Ashworth's increasingly Bruce Springsteen-like tales being some of his most poignant and picturesque. Sure, Vs. Children presents an older, wiser, more mature Casiotone, but Ashworth is aging gracefully. (Tomlab)