Published Mar 16, 2016On Compassion, Lust for Youth sound a lot like Depeche Mode. Between the slightly flat voice of lead singer Hannes Norrvide and the synth sounds directly out of the '80s, the similarity is almost jarring.
That's not to say it's not well-produced and enjoyable pop music. The group clearly know how to make a hit; "Better Looking Brother" is a single that stands out from the rest of the album in its intricacy and the effectiveness of its hook, its dynamism hinting at a range that could have been reached in other parts of the album if songs took more time to develop. "Easy Window" is another bright point, a non-lyrical, airy transition that incorporates breathy samples and generally darker textures similar to contemporary bands like CHVRCHES and Crystal Castles.
Still, Compassion strains under the weight of its influences, Norvvide's baritone has less weight to it than David Gahan's, and some of the lyrics come off as awkward, especially on "Sudden Ambitions." The line "I really hope they do" within the chorus is somewhat stilted and makes the solid hook less catchy. S while the second half of the album almost makes up for its flaws, it doesn't quite manage to make Compassion a memorable whole. (Sacred Bones)