After the enormous success of his breakthrough debut album 'Dream Your Life Away' back in 2014, Australian frontman Vance Joy has clearly been bidding his time when it came to writing a follow-up. And after returning for a few live shows throughout last year, the singer-songwriter has now unveiled his eagerly-anticipated sophomore full-length 'Nation Of Two', a record that sees him as a far more subdued individual than on his first LP.
That is not to say that his production has become simplified, as the tracks 'Lay It On Me' and 'We're Going Home' will prove otherwise, but as a songwriter this seems like a more basic release. Essentially he has chosen to follow on from his last album and play it safe throughout. The result will obviously appeal to his large and loyal fanbase, but as a record on its own, it doesn't do much in the way to wow us or show that he has evolved as a songwriter in the last four years.
'Nation Of Two' still remains an enjoyable release in places, but there seems to be too much of an ebb and flow in its direction. Just when you feel it is getting going, he slams on the breaks and the pace falls backwards too quickly. The quintessential difficult second album, but one we think he can still grow from.