No, it’s not particularly complicated, considering that Art Brut haven’t changed much of anything from their debut, 2005’s Bang Bang Rock & Roll: frontman Eddie Argos is still speak-singing his droll one-liners over catchy-as-hell post-garage guitar riffs, and what sounded fresh on first listen now comes across as deliberately one-note. Though Argos’s lyrics are often hilarious in isolation (the refrain on opener “Pump Up The Volume” is “I know I shouldn’t/Is it so wrong/To break from your kiss/To turn up a pop song?”), he encounters the same problem as many would-be comedians in that the bulk of his material doesn’t hold up to repeat listens. Fortunately, the band’s arrangements show a more robust sense of melody than they did on their debut, which makes less wiseass tunes “Direct Hit” and “Nag Nag Nag Nag” excellent standalone singles that incorporate elements of both punk and ‘80s pop. Beyond those two singles, though, there’s a strong argument to be made that the album would play better as an instrumental; it would be more engaging than Ratatat’s similar-sounding Classics if it did. Instead, It’s A Bit Complicated is an album of the most ephemeral sort of pleasures, offering nothing to dissuade the band’s increasingly vocal detractors.
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