Born Ruffians struggle to mature on Say It

In 2008, Born Ruffians pleased and impressed us with an album called Red, Yellow and Blue, a raucous rock trip through a handful of genres, all wrapped up in the unifying force of what sounds like drunken pub tunes. It was maybe immature, sure, but it was great. Now, the Canadian group is back with their second record, Say It, and they’ve unfortunately grown up–or at least tried.

The new album is certainly not awful. It’s pretty hard to call any album awful or even “paradoxically bad,” especially when there are a few decent tracks and some semblance of talent. But there are nonetheless issues with Say It, most notably the song writing. Musically, the band sounds good, and the production is even tighter. But in some attempt to write more mature songs or something, the band has lost that sophomoric charm that we grew to love on their debut.

Some songs manage to please well enough. The opener “Oh Man” rolls along nicely and does it’s job as the fun lead single. “Higher and Higher” and “Nova Leigh” act as the pretty-good-despite-sounding-too-much-like-sloppy-Vampire-Weekend songs. But the rest of the album features just a little too much of frontman Luke Lolanda’s trademark vocal warble, which comes off sounding silly on an album otherwise taken so seriously. A minor misstep here, guys. You didn’t fall flat on your faces, but let’s go back to the pub, huh?

Born Ruffians – “Oh Man” [MP3]

Born Ruffians – “Nova Leigh” [MP3]

Buy Say It

1 comment to Born Ruffians struggle to mature on Say It

  • Treach

    I like it. Not as much as the first, but I just started listening to it, and it takes like a year for me to get into an album for real. I did notice a ton of yelping on this one compared to the last, and while I also made the comparison to Vampire Weekend, mine was the other way around as feeling they were more honest and raw, I guess because the lyrics are so unrefined and simple. ‘At Home Now’ is a nice track too. Don’t sleep, mate.