Goddamn I love this band! These guys do what so many bands continually fail to do. They simply get better and better with each album. On their Self-titled debut and their last album, Shine A Light the band held unbelievable promise and hit some incredible heights. With a sound akin to a young Springsteen fronting a post-punk/rock and roll band the potential for greatness was certainly there. Here on their third full length album, Tournament Of Hearts, Constantines continue to refine their sound again to remarkable results.
Frankly, Constantines are not doing anything groundbreaking here. They are simply playing rock and roll that you can feel deep down in your gut. This is music for the common man with lyrics that touch on love, work and relationships. On “Working Full Time” the band implores us to reject the discontentment that the daily grind can create and to “not be undersold”…”to find your own wealth within yourself”. On “Soon Enough”, the band sings Soon enough/Work and love will make a man out of you/Through and through. It’s yet another powerful revelation that the only thing that makes us who we are is all the pain and joy that we experience along the way.
Tournament Of Hearts is an explosive and sad, yet incredibly uplifting listen all in one. It takes a lot to make a great band…the list is extraordinarily long. But, Constantines have what a lot of bands lack. They have heart and soul in spades. What is remarkable about this band is that I really believe that they still have not yet made their masterpiece. And I have tremendous faith that they won’t be undersold in the future either.
RIYL: Fugazi, Bruce Springsteen, The Afghan Whigs