Indie Rock, 2014
Some people say that there is nothing new anymore in rock and roll, and listening to Walk the Moon’s Talking Is Hard, I can’t help wondering whether they are right. Walk the Moon channels all the fabulous vibes of rock groups with big hair back in the 1970s to 1980s, although like most new generation rock stars, they don’t seem to be particularly hirsute. Maybe they are still in their tribute rock group stage.
At any rate, tracks like Up 2 U and Sidekick demonstrate that these lads are certainly not lacking in energy. Whether they want to channel ZZ Top, Dire Straits or whatever that they fancy, they certainly have the right attitude to back up their swagger. From New Wave to old school rock, they have their fingers in every pie. Listening to Talking Is Hard is like attending a fabulous high school reunion where the people are cool and the music are cooler. Even better, some of the songs just feel so… happy. Avalanche puts a smile on my face by the time Nicholas Petricca hits the chorus for the first time, and I just want to dance – it’s so ridiculous and so good that way.
The sole anomaly in this album is Shut Up and Dance – it’s an anomaly because it’s more Toto than ZZ Top, the result of the unholy mating of Glee and Rock the Ages, but the result is a glorious kind of cool overload. If Avalanche makes me want to dance, Shut Up and Dance makes me feel like I’m falling in love with Bobby Kimball. No other song here comes close to matching its cheese overload, which is probably a good thing as songs as gorgeous as this are best taken in small doses.
Talking Is Hard may not be a groundbreaking album, but it’s a marvelously versatile one. Guys can do stripper routines to the songs here. The music is democratic – nerds, stoners, and cool kids can all can dance to them without shame. One can perform them at weddings as well as in high school reunions when the budget doesn’t allow for real bands. Most importantly, the album is simply fun to listen to.