Review of Thin Walls Album by Balthazar

This is the third release from a Belgian quintet who broke through with their debut album in 2010 and topped the charts in their homeland with its successor two years later.  An indication of the Balthazar's popularity in Europe can be gathered from a glance at their packed tour schedule, with shows stretching into July.

Balthazar Thin Walls Album

The opening to 'Decency' is moody in a similar way to Arctic Monkeys' 'Do I Wanna Know', but with vocals akin to Bono instead of a Yorkshire man.  The chorus is a slow burner, but once it takes hold it is a quality hook supplemented with an effective use of a string section.  This, it turns out, is a trademark of the Balthazar sound.  'Then What' breezes along in a wistful indie tone, while 'Nightclub' is powered on a likeable glam-rock rhythm.  Despite the title, 'Dirty Love' actually has a soothing warmth and 'So Easy' finds the strings being utilised for a quirky yet undeniable melody.  The album suffers slightly from a lack of variation in dynamics, but at ten tracks the proceedings end before it becomes overbearing.  The result is a likeable if not exciting collection of songs.  


Alex Lai