Los Campesinos! We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed

Los Campesinos! We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed
While We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed is a standalone album in its own right, it almost feels as though Los Campesinos! have released the second half of a double album, the first disc being April debut Hold On Now, Youngster. Stylistically, this irrepressible Welsh septet have merely deepened their furrow instead of exploring new territory, with more of the bursting-at-the-seams pop that won so many hearts. But there's not nearly as much listener fatigue as one may think. Tracks like "You'll Need Those Fingers For Crossing" and "Ways to Make It Through a Wall" demonstrate this bunch have improved their musicianship and have cultivated a keener eye for detail. But really, what it comes down to is the superlative songwriting, which shows that breezy, no-hassle, no-brainer pop can be just as stimulating as any prog thesis or punk thrasher if done right. Although it is still eclipsed by the debut (expectations are now significantly higher), We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed is proof that giant leaps aren't always necessary when small steps lead to such fun places. (Arts & Crafts)