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We Thrive on Big Cities

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Album Review

The vacant expression of the boy that adorns the cover of Director's debut album We Thrive on Big Cities is curiously reminiscent of that of another famous Irish debut album. Cover aesthetics notwithstanding, Director's music is less akin to that of U2's Boy than it is New York art punks the Strokes' debut offering Is This It. It's not only similar in style — standout opener "Easy to Me" testifies to this fact — but also in terms of its aesthetic. Like Is This It, We Thrive on Big Cities is a meticulously crafted pop album; if it borrows from post-punk luminaries Talking Heads and Television, it takes only musical influence and none of the D.I.Y. attitude and drive to experiment which typified the movement at its peak. Technically, the musicianship is superb. Frontman Michael Moloney is a classical music graduate with an ear for the sophisticated melody, and comparisons to David Byrne and the Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon are well justified in this regard. The twin guitar attack he forms with Eoin Aherne is formidable, as evinced by the frenzied duel at the end of "Standing in My Way," but all too often the band appears to be holding back. The songwriting, while constantly strong, lacks an individual character; even attempts to break the mold wind up imitating other acts, as demonstrated by the Daft Punk-like opening of "Come with a Friend." Overall, a lack of spontaneity and a particular personality detract from an otherwise constant and overwhelmingly likeable debut.

Customer Reviews

Director: Unsung Heroes

This album is absolutely amazing. I have been waiting for this to appear on iTunes! While they are really big in Ireland, and the UK, they really haven't gotten any attention in the United States. I could see them getting as big as The Killers, someday, if they got the right publicity! If you're looking for something to really rock out to, this isn't your album, but if you're looking for some really chill alt rock, then We Thrive on Big Cities (and their other album I'll Wait For Sound) is a perfect fit.


Formed: 2005 in Dublin, Ireland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Elegant Irish pop/rock band Director balances their sound between the stylish urgency of the Strokes or the Killers and the more earnest, mature pop of Coldplay and their followers. Forming in their native Dublin in 2004, Director consists of Canadian-born singer and rhythm guitarist Michael Moloney, lead guitarist Eoin Aherne, bassist Rowan Averill, and drummer Shea Lawlor. Director signed with Atlantic Records in 2005 and released their first single, "Reconnect," in April of the following year....
Full Bio
We Thrive on Big Cities, Director
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Customer Ratings