Conditions by Temper Trap (2009)


This was my favorite record of 2009. I’m aware of the more critically acclaimed albums like Phoenix/Muse/the xx/etc that were released in 2009, but this is the one I keep coming back to as the best of the bunch. And if your “Best of 2009” list has Wilco on it, please punch yourself in the face, stop trying so hard, and let me know the last time you actually went back and listened to it. The Australian foursome Temper Trap burst onto the scene when song-of-the-decade ‘Sweet Disposition’ found its way into soundtracks and commercials, but the album behind that mega-track backs it up with a ton of charm, melody and guitar.

Everything you’ll ever read about this record will have the words “anthem” or “arena” in it, since the influences of U2 and Coldplay are present and obvious in just about every song. It’s probably more appropriate to compare them to 30 Seconds to Mars, as they primarily stay closer to “rock” than “ballad”. Conditions is not a shy introduction from Temper Trap…instead of being driven by a particularly inspirational topic or theme, you get the sense that the record was written to sound more like a set list for Wembley Stadium, or Saturday night at Coachella. If you love rock music, you’ve got a lot to look forward to on Conditions.

The “woo hoo hoo” hook and driving guitars of ‘Fader’ just nails it. ‘Love Lost’ is worthy of max volume, and you get to know the unique and charming voice of singer Dougie Mandagi during this epic album-opener. You could spend all day making comparisons to other vocalists, but it’s probably best to accept that we have heard the first few bars of a potential future star. He really shines during ‘Science of Fear’, which is the song you should call your favorite if you’re too cool to admit that you just love ‘Sweet Disposition’.

I’m not going to act like this whole record is classic…tracks like ‘Down River’ and ‘Drum Song’ are awesome, but more appropriate for a “fan favorite” label than to be called underrated. What I’m saying is that if you dive headfirst into the sound of Temper Trap, there is a lot of quality and experimentation on Conditions to adore. ‘Fools’ is simple but pretty. Late-blooming tracks ‘Soldier On’ and ‘Resurrection’ make you hang around till the last couple minutes for the pay-off, but in the end that wait becomes worth it. This is the kind of record you should discover, then impatiently tap your foot while you wait for the sophomore effort to be released. Everything’s riding on Temper Trap’s next record: if it flops, then Conditions will be forgotten as another unfulfilled ball of potential. If it hits big, then this collection could one day be included in the “how did you miss this?” category along with Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik (Outkast’s debut) and early Ryan Adams like Gold and Heartbreaker. We’ll see!

music turtle recommends: YOU DIDN’T ALREADY HAVE ‘SWEET DISPOSITION’??

What do you think about this album? Comment below


2 Responses to “Conditions by Temper Trap (2009)”

  1. 1 page23

    Spreading the word!!!

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