Colorado couple Tennis’ fourth album is a perfectly pleasant affair, but doesn’t dare to break from an increasingly formulaic style.
Under the pseudonym Tennis, husband-and-wife duo Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley have spent the last six years crafting sun-soaked, easy-going indie-pop tunes that have charmed listeners with surfy melodies and sugary hooks, shaping a sound and aesthetic from their ’70s and ’80s influences. Their previous three albums have each been met with warm receptions, but it became clear that they would need to break from an increasingly formulaic cycle for Yours Conditionally, their fourth album, if they wanted to produce something special…
After a handful of promising singles and the bold decision to independently release the record on their own label (Mutually Detrimental), there was plenty of reason to go into Yours Conditionally with optimism, and initially it pays off. ‘In The Morning I’ll Be Better’ is a delightful introduction, with its old school tint and quaint, swaying rhythm that leads to an enthralling closure that spins dizzyingly. The summer-friendly ‘My Emotions Are Blinding’ and ‘Ladies Don’t Play Guitar’ are just as fun, and Moore’s performance is sure to catch the ear of Lana Del Rey fans.
However, Tennis fail to step out from their comfort zone and the tail-end of the album unfortunately begins to blur into the background. ‘Baby Don’t Believe’, ’10 Minutes 10 Years’ and others feel as though they just go through the motions with no real flare, chemistry or creativity, and while closing track ‘Island Music’ evokes a dazed, relaxing atmosphere, it breezes by almost unnoticeably and shows Moore and Riley at their most forgetabble.
So, sadly, Yours Conditionally never becomes the gorgeous, romantic affair that could wash you away to a sunny paradise, but it’s still a pleasant experience for the most part. Hopefully their future material will be more adventurous and escape the pastel personality that has made Tennis – and many of their peers – so unexciting as of late. (5/10) (Woody Delaney)
Listen to Yours Conditionally here via Spotify, and tell us what you think below!
Tags: Alaina Moore, album review, colorado, indie pop, mutually detrimental, Patrick Riley, review, tennis, Woody Delaney, yours conditionally
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