The Chap’s “Well Done Europe”

“The first seven songs are the strongest of the album. . .” -LW

Luke Goddard
the chap well done europe

out of 10

Well Done Europe
May 24, 2010

Are they ironic, witty, pretentious, intellectual? Meta? Post-modern? Silly? I can’t seem to decide, but Well Done Europe is far and away my favorite album of recent months. I listen to the album daily, twice daily, and find myself craving it at all other times like my favorite candy (Swedish Fish, I just can’t say no) or reruns of Twin Peaks.

The sound is undeniably Brit and they dedicate much energy to the quintessentially British preoccupation with social class and status. It’s a little avant-garde, a little post-punk, a little New Wave. From “Obviously”:

“The howling wind and the Rattle and Hum
We have to agree on the Tree of Pain
We live La Vida Loca
on La Isla Bonita”

Described as everything from pop to Dadaist, it’s All of This and Nothing.

I’m going to venture out on a limb here and say that the one failing of this album is the track order. The first seven songs are the strongest of the album, but I feel that it falls off a bit after “Nevertheless, The Chap.” The mood of the record seems to go from goofy and poppy to darker and more cerebral, but I’m not sure that there isn’t a better solution to the album’s structure. I will trust that The Chap had their reasons–they are not the flippant types and don’t mistake them for such.

By the way, you can preview the entire album HERE.

–Lindsey Whitefield, August 1, 2010