“We’re back in business / you’re such a big mess / and I love you,” sings Hannah Hooper of Grouplove in their latest release “Big Mess.” This boisterous quintet is back in business with its third album, and fans have been waiting for since the release of “Spreading Rumours” in 2013.
What’s so delightful about Grouplove is they are unapologetically happy about their music. They play that bouncy electropop that the kids are into these days, but with a twist: meaning. The lyrics are not to be overlooked. They may sound goofy, especially the pre-chorus to “Good Morning,” but there are notes of sunny reassurance in between the lines.
“Welcome To Your Life” is the perfect intro to the album for that reason — it reminds us that life can be a big mess or a fantasy, that this is our world and that we make it what we want it to be. For a minute, it seems that all of life’s problem can be solved by dancing it out, preferably to Grouplove.
Just listen to second track “Do You Love Someone.” The gritty, reverberating bass line is enough to make a listener want to dance, or at least coolly nod along in appreciation. Keep on grooving with fifth track “Good Morning.” Memorize the goofy lyrics to the pre-chorus and you will instantly become the coolest person in the room.
Another beloved fixture of Grouplove is lead vocalist Christian Zucconi’s scream-singing. Pay close attention to the chorus: “So tell me, do you love someone?” An untrained ear might not realize that it takes a lot of vocal energy to wail like that.
There are a few hidden gems in “Big Mess.” The third track, “Standing In The Sun” is sort of acoustic, slightly trimmed down from the usual chaos of their sound. Then there is “Enlighten Me,” that brings in a touch of introspective piano power pop.
Punk filters through in tracks seven through nine. “Cannonball” sounds like it’s coming from a different singer than Hooper or Zucconi, and because of that, it sounds a little more discordant. The next track, “Traumatized,” has the punk formula too — guitars shredding, loud drums and crashing cymbals. “Heart of Mine” is very calculated; the time signature somehow reminds me of a punk waltz, if such a thing could or should ever exist.
It’s an easy guess that Grouplove is from Los Angeles, California, with that sunshiny pop vibe spilling out in each and every song. They are simply a group that loves what they do, and they remind us to go and find that same happiness too. “Big Mess” welcomes us all to our lives and encourages us to shape our lives into whatever we want that big mess to look like.