The Crookes are always a difficult band to review because they better read than any journalist. We might read Kerouac, Thompson and Ginsberg, they embody them. 2014’s ‘Soapbox’ introduced a darker tone to their repertoire with the introduction of Depeche Mode synths but, ‘Lucky Ones’, witnesses a return to their romantic pop music roots.
The Crookes have always been expanding on their archetypal romantic rock n roll sound since their debut. ‘Lucky Ones’ continues their journey with synths but this time, its into a world of lo-fi pop music.
‘Roman Candle’, at its core, is nothing the Crookes hasn’t done before. It’s light, dreamy and infectious but, the use of synths definitely takes them to pastures new. Without sounding like New Order, they embody the spirit of their Manchester peers with this carefree record.
The notion of escape and being on a journey is rife throughout ‘Lucky Ones’. There is an overarching sense they have escaped Sheffield for route 66 in an open top Cadillac. ‘No One Like You’ allows anyone to picture such a scene with a loved one and ponder how great life can be at times. The slight gravel in Waite’s vocal towards the end will have men yearning to be him and women falling at his feet.
‘The Lucky Ones’ acts as pre-cursor to this road trip. Our hero is determined to convince their partner in crime that they could be the lucky one. This is track has that same remarkable quality Oasis’ ‘Live Forever’ had. This type of song writing is a gift for bored office workers and tradesman alike. It gives a visualisation of dreams, hope and plans for freedom.
There is so much to admire with every Crookes album and ‘Lucky Ones’ is no different. Yet again they have expanded their sound without losing sight of their inner poet which makes them great. The essence of The Smiths and 50s rock n roll is still core to their beauty but now they diversified towards other greats such as Depeche mode and The Cure.
‘Lucky Ones’ might not be their best album but now their song writing is delving into broader themes for hope and escape, the chances of bigger audiences surely await.