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Album Review: The Rifles – Freedom Run

Freedom Run is the third release from five-piece The Rifles, and has been one of the albums I’ve been anticipating all year. The album is filled with fresh ideas, light-hearted melodies and sweet harmonies, overall highlighting just how much the band have progressed.

Simply put, it’s a lovely album. Despite having changed certain elements of their sound, they are still a bit rough round the edges with a shot of attitude, and their influences that got them going as a band continue to run through their veins; Love Is A Key, with its Beatles vibe, is a perfect example. Sweetest Thing ticks all the right boxes – lyrically and harmonically – as its driving beat neatly oscillates throughout to create an energised, warm song. Long Walk Back exudes a 60s vibe, with jangly repetitive pianos meddled with softer vocals.

The first single, Tangled Up In Love, represents the album as a whole; opening with a harmonious orchestral hum, the toe-tapping and well-ordered guitar solo add depth to a song that has a definitive pop feel. The interlude neatly paves the way for the end of the album, which, with songs like Nothing Matters, is delicately written with interwoven percussion and piano solos. Cry Baby is an upbeat album closer, and a reminder if why you started to listen to the album in the first place.

As a whole, Freedom Run is probably their best album yet; rearrangement and experimentation has worked in their favour, and they’ve produced a relatively laid-back album that somehow manages to stay firmly away from the dull.  They haven’t lost their lyrical ability and emotional expression – in fact, they’ve built on it – and to say that it’s a “simple” album would be demeaning. It isn’t, however, a record where they’ve overcomplicated in an attempt to try new things, and yet they’ve created an album that’s entirely new.

It’s happy, indie-pop at its best, filled with a summery romanticism throughout. With the summer waning, I’ll be listening to it for a while to come.

-Charlie Clarkson

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