Wow. Athlete really wants to be Coldplay. A lot. From the beginning of the opening track “Superhuman Touch,” to the end of “Rubik’s Cube,” Black Swan sounds like a collection of B-sides from Chris Martin and his crew. It’s not that this is a bad thing, it’s just that all of this sounds like it’s been done.
“Black Swan Song” tries really hard to tug at your heart strings with its anthemic chorus (“My body is weak/ But my soul is still strong”) complete with a string section, but despite its best intentions, it just doesn’t achieve the ambition that it’s desperately going for. “Light the Way” is like the lesser-known step-child of Coldplay’s “Life in Technicolor II.”
I like Athlete. They are a talented group and their music is really good. And Black Swan is actually a pretty good album. It just feels like they were trying too hard to fill arenas, but only made it to the first deck.