Tapes new album copy of previous hits

inneapolis indie rock band Tapes n’ Tapes’ sophomore slump is dragging on into their new junior release.

Tapes n’ Tapes debut album “The Loon” received critical praise, but their subsequent album “Walk it Off” fizzled. “Outside,” the band’s new record, similarly does not live up to their stellar beginnings.

Tapes n’ Tapes try a pop-like direction with “Outside.”

While it starts out promising with “Badaboom,” the rest of the album soon trails off into a static and largely homogenous five tracks.

No one song stands out in the first half of the album. Every song melds into the next. They sound like a Vampire Weekend cover band.

Throughout that first half, “Outside” sounds as if the band were trying to fit into a template that just did not fit them.

Luckily, Tapes n’ Tapes attempts, at least, to break the mold.

The latter half of the album, beginning with their single “Freak Out” returns to the sounds reminiscent of their praised first album.

The raucous and energetic indie rock (with a Western flavor), while present in the second half, does not live up to their previous efforts. The highlights of the album,

“Freak Out” and “The Saddest of All Keys” are enjoyable, but still not exceptional. These two songs have a soulful style mixed with their early energy, but there is not much depth to either of them.

And these are some of the best tracks.

Overall, “Outside,” isn’t a terrible album, but it can’t stand out amongst the hundreds of indie rock albums released every year.

Fans of their great first album will be disappointed in “Outside.”

And while they won’t throw it away in disgust, they will lament that a band who pioneered one of the better indie rock albums of the last decade created an album can’t distinguish itself from Vampire Weekend, or other even less famous bands in the crowded field of indie rock.