Belgian indie-pop band Balthazar offer their third studio album ‘Thin Walls’. The new album sees the charismatic Belgian band offering an interesting album experience, and one that differs from their previous two albums. Whilst much of the music on ‘Applause’ offered up dreamy waltzes and engaging command, ‘Thin Walls’ seems to opt for a more stripped down approach, showing the band as one who are considering their music from many angles, and seeing what new ideas and techniques they can draw out of their own style by approaching it all from a different angle. For the most part, ‘Thin Walls’ is an enjoyable album, offering more of the bands’ natural creative talent, though it perhaps fails to reach the same heights as the bands’ debut effort.
There’s many enjoyable elements to ‘Thin Walls’, which seems to offer up a more mature element to the bands’ music. Everything seems well thought out and envisioned, with there being great effort to reach the standard the band have been aiming for on their third studio album. The more stripped down elements allow the music to become that little bit more dreamy and accessible, though the real highlights are when the band indulge themselves in majestic instrumental sections and confident vocal performances full of swagger. It’s another strong effort, and one that helps to show Balthazar as a band who evolve with each album released.
Balthazar have certainly set out to do something different to their norm on their latest album, making attempts to push out a more mature and evolved sound than their earlier work. Whilst this works well for the most part, it seems the more stripped back elements that more or less dominate much of the album seem to come with a loss of the more experimental elements that made the bands’ earlier work all that more enjoyable. There seems to be less waltzing around and less confident swagger on ‘Thin Walls’,which is a shame in some respects, though it’s certainly admirable to see the band trying more.
‘Thin Walls’ isn’t a failure of an album in any way, though it is an album experience that perhaps pales in comparison to its predecessors. Most of the album’s highlights come from when the band indulge their older style much more than when they indulge their stripped back and mature style. Most of the techniques and ideas being presented by the band more or less work, with there being some really strong songs from the band, many of which are certain to become fan favourites. It seems perhaps a little bit more refinement of these new ideas at the core of the music would perhaps elevate it all to the position that Balathazar are aiming for. They’re certainly capable of it.
- ★★★☆☆ 3/5
- Last Call
- I Looked For You
- True Love
Balthazar’s third studio album ‘Thin Walls’ is out now.