It’s okay to explore different styles and influences on one album (encouraged and expected, even), but Fergus and Geronimo take Unlearn to the extreme. There are many about-faces that can really spin heads, which is a shame because each of these songs are quite clever little gems. It’s almost as if the songs are in the wrong order and there is absolutely no stability.
“Girls With English Accents” is an excellent opening track with groovy sitar licks and a fun set of lyrics, but just when you get used to that sound, the second track is so completely different, it’s just a tad disorienting…and so the albums goes.
There are significant standout, such as The Kinks-ish romp “Baby Don’t You Cry,” but again followed by a track seemingly by a different band with a different type of groove completely. “World Never Stops” is also vaguely Kinks-sounding, and deserves better placement on the record. “Forced Aloha” is a lovely, ethereal, island ballad followed by a rather expansive and somber dirge, which is mercifully short, but ends quite abruptly.
The intent of this album is in there somewhere (a couple of friends having a blast in the studio and making cool music), but Unlearn could be improved immensely with a more cohesive track listing. The songs on their own are very strong, very cool, but need individual listening to appreciate terrific each song is and how much potential Fergus and Geronimo have.