Listening to This Providences debut and sophomore efforts (Our Worlds Divorce and their self-titled respectively) it’s hard to believe that they have not risen to the levels of stardom that their unique brand of pop and cocksure attitude would imply them to be at. Now as they prepare to release their third album, Who Are You Now? They are posed to finally break out of that “next big thing” category and propel themselves to the forefront of the music scene.
With the album opener “Sure As Hell” it’s already apparent that This Providence aren’t your average pop band, they have created a formula that allows them to try different things and still come off incredibly charming. “Sure As Hell” for instance begins with a drifting guitar over singer Dan Young’s solemn lyrics; not the most upbeat of beginnings but a great start none the less, showing off their artistic integrity before all else.
It’s obvious in this release that This Providence are trying their best to appeal to the widest audience possible (if it wasn’t apparent from their employment of hook maverick Matt Squire), there are many hits on Who Are You Now? From the first rocking single “Letdown” that uses clever lyrics and catchy guitars to drive it into an obvious single territory. Also songs like “That Girl’s A Trick” and “Selfish” possess the same formula of catchiness that with proper exposure could explode.
Something that This Providence have always used very well is the performance of their bassist. This new album is no exception as bass hooks run rampant, such as in tracks like “Waste Myself” and “Keeping On Without You” use the bass so prominently at times, rather then hiding it in the mix like a lot of bands do. It’s great to hear such appreciation for an instrument that is more often then not overlooked in the music scene nowadays.
Listening to Who Are You Now? it’s hard not to hear some of This Providence’s charm and cocky-while-charming attitude evaporating in comparison to there previous releases. It’s as if they aren’t a band that have had two albums prior to this, but rather a band just showing up on the scene and executing a great release while still feeling unsure of themselves. Although this doesn’t mean This Providence are playing it safe with the same formula, songs like the beautiful “Chasing The Wind” and the experimental “My Beautiful Rescue (Renovated)” show that they are still not afraid to pull off something different even with a different outlook.
If this album was to achieve a certain goal it would probably be to expose This Providence to as many people as possible, an album that has turned this little indie band that could, into a group of artists poised to become bigger then they could have ever hoped for. While this will cause a lot of fans to turn their backs on This Providence and their loss of “indie cred”. It will no doubt bring about new fans that will appreciare This Providence and who they are now.