Thao & The Get Down Stay Down - We The Common

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down - We The Common
Album Reviews

Buzzing with vitality, abandon and the joy that comes from knowing that sometimes there is no place like home.



Label: Ribbon Music
Released: 4th February 2013
Reviewer: Johnny Owen
Thao Nguyen has spent much of her recording career with the shifting line-ups of The Get Down Stay Down growing up in (relative) public. From the first tentative steps into adulthood and the broadening of horizons chronicled in ‘We Brave Bee Stings And All’, to the stumbles and scraped knees that informed ‘Know Better Learn Faster’, she has shown no fear or hesitation in letting the listener know each of her doubts and hesitations as she fumbles to make a place for herself in the world.

It’s a sensation that even the most well-adjusted among us can relate to and her jaunty, folk-pop anthems to uncertainty have won her no shortage of friends or admirers. Key to this is the feeling that even when her songs may threaten to veer too far towards introspection, you’re never far from a tumbling drum roll ushering in a cacophony of handclaps and a sing-a-long chorus. This persists on ‘We The Common’ and, save for a few tweaks, she doesn’t go to great lengths to expand upon the musical formula that’s served her to date. Lyrically though, there’s the sense that, having ventured out into the big bad world and found it wanting, she has returned home with a newfound sense of appreciation for community and the comfort it can offer.

Among this community can be numbered some considerable talents, Andrew Bird turned up for a guest spot on ‘Know Better...’'s title track and ‘We The Common’ can boast an appearance by Joanna Newsom. Unfortunately, whereas Bird embellished and enriched with his appearance, ‘Kindness Be Conceived’ is probably the weakest song on ‘We The Common’, gaining little from the added input and lacking in ideas or energy. There are plenty of other moments here though, in particular ‘City’, ‘Move’ and, the first single, ‘Holy Roller’, that buzz with vitality, abandon and the joy that comes from knowing that sometimes there is no place like home.
Rating: 6/10
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