American Football – American Football (LP3)
American Football build on their distinct craft for creating odd pop songs and multi-minute epics on their third album
If 1999's LP1 was the introduction to American Football and LP2 acted as a 17-years-later reintroduction, then LP3 is the Chicago, Illinois emo and math rock legends' reinvention. Mike Kinsella, Steve Lamos and Steve Holmes' first record grew and grew and grew in estimation throughout the Napster and MySpace years to their hugely successful reunion tour. Now the band – a quartet with the addition of Kinsella's brother Nate – have committed to being an active unit, already exceeding the band's original run by a couple of years.
LP2 showed the possibilities of an 'all-grown-up' version of American Football, given their debut record is considered the archetypal 'teenage feelings' record of the era. However, here on LP3, they've expanded their musical palette to accompany Kinsella's lyrical concerns with aging. While the band's distinguished sound remains, there's an assuredness present on LP3 showing a comprehensive range in composition, pop hooks and even production.
Part of this is thanks to the band's use of female guest vocals, most notably Paramore's Hayley Williams – a long term fan – who puts in an excellent performance in lead single Uncomfortably Numb, and Slowdive's Rachel Goswell on I Can't Feel You. Elsewhere, American Football build on their distinct craft for creating pop songs out of odd time signatures, seamlessly weaving multi-minute epics without ever feeling overblown such as on Silhouettes, cementing the band's return as a success.
Listen to: Uncomfortably Numb, I Can't Feel You, Silhouettes