Cruel and Beautiful World
A curious album title for this L.A. five-piece, whose debut is seemingly packed with "happy songs." Then again, it's hard to tell at times, what with vocalist Christian Zucconi often invoking an introspective Jeff Mangum yelp amid layers of jangly, folky guitar and feel-good beats. But all seems pretty well in Grouplove's world, a world not far from the merry collectivism of Edward Sharpe. "Here is now and now is where I want to be," professes Zucconi before playing word-hopscotch on highlight "Colours" and sing-rapping with vocalist/keyboardist (and girlfriend) Hannah Hooper on "Naked Kids."