0 Love It
Save it

London Grammar – 'If You Wait' album review

Notwithstanding some nice downbeat touches, this is an undercooked and monotonous debut

As the days become shorter and an uncommonly balmy English summer begins to wane, the debut album from sombre pop three-piece London Grammar arrives like a sudden, unwelcome blast of autumn wind. Since releasing their first single last December and nabbing a feature spot on Disclosure’s ‘Settle’, they’ve been racking up festival slots, garnering a beehive’s worth of buzz and attracting unrelenting comparisons to The XX.

But while ‘If You Wait’ serves up similarly chilly, ethereal sadscapes, they lack any of the Putney trio’s tears-on-the-dancefloor verve. Muffled drums crunch like fallen leaves underfoot while chiming guitar lines glide through the mix, but it feels undercooked and repetitive: little flourishes, from the Rhodes licks of opener ‘Hey Now’ to the dub guitar clatter of ‘Flickers’, fail to break up the sullen monotony.

Soaring above it all is front-woman Hannah Reid’s sublime vocal, which moves effortlessly between an unassuming Joni Mitchell-esque falsetto and diaphragm-straining Florence Welch theatrics. But she’s let down by listless lyrics about crumbling relationships and bittersweet late-night rendezvous that are so nondescript they’re not worth quoting. ‘If You Wait’ is a slick affair and not without its downbeat charm, but it’s incurably samey and skin-deep: an album that leaves you cold. Buy this album here

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments box below or tweet us at @TimeOutMusic.

Read more album reviews


Albums of the Week

The Libertines, Miley Cyrus, Max Richter and Dam-Funk

Read more
By: Time Out London Music
Show more
Read more Time Out album reviews



It's simply fabulous. A mile apart from the usual turned out drivel

Mario Lopez
Mario Lopez

The intricate electronic sound on the new London Grammar tracks on "If You Wait" are impeccable, as they layer over the thunderous vocals of Hannah Reid. I love it! http://tinyurl.com/LGIYW