ALBUM REVIEW: Paper Aeroplanes “The Day We Ran Into The Sea”

Label: My First Records
Release Date: 19.04.2010

Paper Aeroplanes are Sarah Howells and Richard Llewellyn and in their quest for musical fame and fortune, they do seem to have been through the hoop, what with falling in love, leaving backwater Welsh towns, the tragic loss of Sarah’s best friend and band-mate and then, after 4 years together, painfully ending their relationship just a week before their biggest gig at Cardiff’s Big Weekend, which they then played.

The surprise is that given the dramas they have been through, their debut album “The Day We Ran Into The Sea” seems incredibly tame, but alongside artists like Fleetwood Mac and The Carpenters, they have amalgamated these dramas with a commercial pop sensibility making Paper Aeroplanes’s songs the epitome of radio-friendliness.

The biggest potential hit seems to be opener ‘Cliché’ with its jangly riff and memorable chorus that sounds like American folk rockers Sixpence None The Richer’s cover of the La’s ‘There She Goes’. Other highlights include ‘Freewheel’s laid-back country rock and the comparatively edgy and downbeat ‘Pick Me’, reminiscent of 10000 Maniacs’ better moments.

Sarah’s voice has a delicate, subtle, plaintive tone and when she sings stark, open lyrics like ‘Shame that we didn’t quite make it, shame cos you know me so well, shame that will wash off with sensory pleasure when I’m under another’s spell’ from ‘Lost’, it shows “The Day We Ran Into The Sea” to be a musical memoir of their emotional journey. And unlike many purveyors of this genre, you do believe her and you feel her pain.

There a few weaker songs on the album including ‘Give It Back’ and ‘Take It Easy’, which border on the blandest country pop of Taylor Swift, but all in all, ‘The Day We Ran Into the Sea’ has some lovely moments.  And American radio will love them!

Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Alex Borg


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