Raise a hand who doesn’t know Walk Off the Earth. There probably exist very few people unaware of this band, whose video for Somebody That I Used To Know went viral on YouTube in 2012. This live cover of Gotye and Kimbra’s famous song had such a success because of the original approach the group had to it – one acoustic guitar and the five members alternatively providing main or backing vocals, singing “a cappella” style and each of them somehow involved in the playing of the instrument.
Three years later, the new album Sing It All Away retains little of the innovative breeze with which the band had swept the musical scene. The first impression is that the record is but a collection of all similar sounding tracks in which Walk Off the Earth repeat themselves over and over again. The second impression is that not only the album is dull and redundant, it also has no direction whatsoever – copying from other artists and resulting in a chaotic mixture of genres which are merely recognizable before ending up once more in the same patterns, rhythms and melodies.
All you can hear in this record are stadium-size choruses à la Coldplay, tribal beats that gradually evolve into more electronic sounds ready to fill in the airwaves of your local discotheque, simple and catchy radio-friendly tunes and trite lyrics.
Take Home We’ll Go – whistles, banjos, stomping rhythms and a chorus that sounds all too familiar. Inadvertently reprising the Italian version of The Story of Pollyanna’s opening theme, it sounds like a pastoral, Southern U.S.A. country song at first but soon turns into a techno-pop composition – Avicii would either be proud or sue the group for plagiarism. This is even clearer when you find out there’s a Steve Aoki remix of this track at the end of the album. It all makes sense now. But if this mash-up is the real innovation, the band had better spared us.
Clapping hands, rapped words and sing-alongs. Somewhere you spot Rihanna, somewhere else you find Hayley Williams. If Walk Off the Earth wanted to keep doing covers, they should have kept doing covers – they were good material.
If anything, the record is appropriately named – it’s very easy to Sing It All Away. Praise for the members being able to switch from an instrument to the other – being multi-instrumentalists like they are is quite impressive. The album instead may well be chosen as the soundtrack of the next World Cup.
Sing It All Away was released on 15th June 2015, for more information about Walk Off The Earth and upcoming shows click here.