Declan McKenna - What Happened to the Beach?
Feb 11, 2024
78
On first listen this album was actually surprisingly unenjoyable. I found Declan’s whispy and usually sweet, innocent vocals to clash badly with the artistic and experimental rock methods he chose to use. The production also felt very messy and straight out unlistenable.

However as time has gone on McKenna’s charm has won me over and I have found the seen the quirks in his music fun, seen the light in the past negativity.

I have known about Declan’s music for a few years now. Since the smash hit Brazil made it to the mainstream music listeners, McKenna has grown and grown into popularity. His 2021 project was pretty nice and very memorable for that year. Then in September of 2023, his single “Nothing Works” released and I instantly fell in love with the somewhat grungy and raw sound it displayed. I decided I had to listen to this album when it released, so to be honest this was a very anticipated project for myself and when I first listened to it and found it unenjoyable, I was nothing but shocked.

All I can say is that when I got to my fourth or fifth listen I was really really enjoying and any dislikes I had from before were dead!

Moving on to the music. Declan’s ability to write such creative and quirky lines, all whilst twisting in with an either indie pop style or psychedelic rhythm is highly impressive. Whether it’s a catchy hook or a highly memorable and relatable line he always leaves a good taste in the mouth.

Moving on to production, I mentioned that on the first two listens I found it messy, unprofessional and plain disruptive. Well with my new fresh, positive view on this album I can officially say that the production is highly consistent and experimental throughout the tracklist! The vocal production on a song such as “Breath of Light” for example immerses the listener in an atmospheric environment that feels like you’re in a jungle/forest. Whereas the mega-positive energy that a song such as “Sympathy” brings can be just as rewarding.

Something I enjoy so much about this LP is the fact, that while it all comes under the indie genre, it’s super eclectic and each track is a different listen to the next. Some are more poppy, some are more experimental, some are very rock-heavy. It just feels like a consistent journey, start to finish and that there’s something for everyone, not just the rock fans or the pop fans. Considering my taste is sooo eclectic i have somewhat of an advantage because i just enjoy all of it ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

In conclusion this is a highly impressive solo project from Declan considering he had no features and wrote a lot of the music!

2 Comments
2w
Wow this is exactly what I thought - can't top Zeros for me though
2w
@mw171819 wdym “what you thought”. I love zeroes too but don’t know if it’s better than this!
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More Reviews by NeedlefluuJr
Declan McKenna - Nothing Works
100
Sep 15, 2023
Declan McKenna - Sympathy
100
Feb 11, 2024
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