Slow Club’s latest album, One Day All Of This Won’t Matter Any More, languishes instead of soars. That’s partly by design: The album is filled with dark, midtempo tunes that veer between sleepy and ponderous, an unusual path for a group that, despite its name, has written some exuberant music. Most of the album’s tracks come close to the four-minute mark, which is occasionally a wonderfully deliberate journey, but too often feels like the songs were stretched out past their limits. Rather than defining the group’s name, One Day is restrained by it.
The Sheffield duo continues to capitalize on the strengths of Rebecca Taylor’s voice, which somehow conveys both pureness and world-weariness in its gorgeous, haunting notes. Charles Watson takes lead in several songs, though his voice is stronger when paired with or pitted against Taylor’s. The group’s songwriting, which at its best incorporates bluesy swells and poppy flourishes, is an uneven sideways step rather than a confident move forward on this album. One strong exception to this is “In Waves,” which captures what Slow Club does best. Taylor’s voice, soulful and confident, flies effortlessly over bare-bones, catchy instrumentals, recalling some of the folkier work from debut album Yeah So.
Album opener “Where The Light Gets Lost” isn’t so much slow as it is limp, a forced plod onward to the rest of the album. There are moments of loveliness, often encapsulated within bland songs, that remind listeners what the group is capable of. Taylor’s voice commands the downbeat “Come On Poet” and “Give Me Some Peace,” both of which evoke a sultry lounge act—but she gets bogged down in the sad-sack instrumentals that seem to march toward nowhere. “Rebecca Casanova” is a brighter, uptempo rarity halfway through the album, but instead of providing an organic interstice, its forgettable melody drags on. The album as a whole leaves a blurry impression, not a crisp memory.
Although One Day All Of This Won’t Matter Any More isn’t cohesive, its stronger moments still beckon from the darker corners. It may be an album that elicits too much fast-forwarding, but the remaining songs stay true to Slow Club’s folk-rock roots and grow a few new blooms.