Review: Beacon/ Two Door Cinema Club

(Released on September 3, 2012 by Glassnote Records)

Beacon has reached number one in Ireland, number two in the U.K. and number 17 in the U.S.

By Jolie Shapiro

More than two years after Northern Irish trio Two Door Cinema Club released Tourist History, the band is back in action with Beacon. In the band’s sophomore attempt, the album is polished and full of well-crafted pop songs — intricate arrangements supported by complex electric guitar with clear vocals gracefully laid atop.

Upbeat and calculated, Beacon is a perky collection that explores the tension between optimism and anxiety. In a recent NME interview, frontman Alex Trimble summed the album up as “deeper and definitely more emotional” than Tourist History, but it still maintains their debut’s positivity.

The opener and best song on the album, “Next Year,” is a lovesick track that accomplishes what Trimble aimed for throughout the album: achieving a perfect balance of heartbroken dejection (“Maybe someday / you’ll be somewhere / talking to me / as if you knew me”) and cheerful composition. “Handshake” has an arresting and uncharacteristically dark chorus (“He said the devil will want you back / and you’ll never find love in an open hand.”)

“Wake Up” is an up-tempo, large production. While the lead single, “Sun,” is a reflective mid-tempo love song, with a catchy chorus and poetic lyrics (“I built a hive, became one with the bees, but we fell like rain, got lost into the sea, if I don’t know, the wind will carry me, so just hold tight.”)

“Sleep Alone” speeds through with a throbbing backbeat, but then into the second half it is a much calmer affair. “The World is Watching (With Valentina)” is a sweet, dreamy mid-beat ballad. “Settle” is light, while “Graceland” is well-styled.

Overall, Beacon is relatable and leaves a satisfied customer.


Jolie Shapiro is a self-described lover of all things music. When not working toward a public relations degree at the University of Florida, she engulfs herself in musical pursuits. This past year, she had the opportunity to help organize FEST, Gainesville’s annual punk rock music festival. She also regularly wrote album reviews for INsite Magazine. Now, she is currently living in New York City interning with Astralwerks Records, home to David Guetta, and Swedish House Mafia among other great artists. In her spare time, she in a blues rock band called Double Vision that performs around Gainesville. For Jolie, it certainly has been, and hopefully will continue to be a wild ride.

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