By Matt Craig Burke
You may have heard of X Ambassadors before. If you have not, then in no time you will. Their music has been present in popular movies and shows, they have also been featured with artists such as Eminem and Imagine Dragon. After two successful EPs, X Ambassador have finally released their debut LP, VHS.
Hauling in a 20-song debut (14 if you toss out the pointless interludes), the Ithaca band creates an album that heavily relies on it’s vocals. Lead singer, Sam Harris, has the ability to deliver vocals that are both dominant and comprehensive. The lyrics pop out, urging you to sing along as it distracts the fact that the music itself is quite mundane. Lyrically the songs are painfully repetitive, reiterating words and phrases as if they had writer’s block.
As the lyrics are less than great, musically VHS falls short as well. The songs are catchy and don’t require much thought, making for an easy listen. Hip-hop inspired beats of “stomp clap” flood the album, joined by minimalistic instrumentals of simple guitar and piano that begin to sound like the album is running in circles. While the songs all blend together, the interludes break apart the record which become more annoying with each listen.
Tittering between pop-rock and indie-rock, the New York quartet will be giving Imagine Dragons a run for their money. With the ability to appeal to the masses, from Top 40 stations to college radio, X Ambassador has their spot in pop music.