Leader Cheetah – Lotus Skies (2011 LP)

Adelaide natives Leader Cheetah have played it safe on their sophomore release Lotus Skies, applying their songwriting craft to a tried and true formula that offers an aural delight to the ears but leaves an underwhelming impression with the overall lack of originality and personality in the music.

Lotus Skies features gorgeous arrangements and soothing instrumentation with Dan Crannitch’s distinct vocals floating above the lush sonic landscape. The album starts off strong with opener “Midnight Headlights” and it’s soft, melodious vibe that gently reels the listener in.

“Dead In A Dream” and it’s slow moving whimsy is a sheer delight with the underlying melancholia and nostalgia proving to be all encompassing. Album highlight “Our Love” is a catchy tune displaying sweet lyrical sentiments that are easy to relate to. “Golden Age” is the clear winner of the latter half of the LP with its striking guitars and soaring, anthemic chorus making it stand out from the rest.

Leader Cheetah have produced a solid record that becomes more beguiling with every listen. Lotus Skies falls short due to the bands lack of sonic variation, with all twelve songs exploring similar sounds and lyrical themes, some of which cover very familiar material and do little to add to the well travelled terrain. This familiarity breeds comfort and once you move beyond the oft formulaic nature of the tracks there is much joy to be found in the beauty of the arrangements.

Leader Cheetah display a grand ability to pen catchy dream pop tunes that are easy to enjoy with the laid back nature of the sound that is sure to go down better live than it does on record.

Review Score: 6.5/10