As idiosyncratic as they were, the albums are both great. They are not instant, though. Both take a lot of getting used to.
The Xcerts start 'There Is Only You' a lot like their past two albums with a short ambient intro track. After this though, the album just explodes.
The next three tracks show an unseen side of The Xcerts. While it is energetic like 'Scatterbrain''s titular track, the tracks are here are incredibly poppy, upbeat and incredibly catchy. They're songs to sing along and jump around to.
'There Is Only You' has MacLeod singing a slightly higher register than we are used to along with Coheed and Cambria style harmonies. The album is very rich produced by Dave Eringa and Paul Steel, including pianos, strings, synths, ahs and oohs and huge fuzzy guitars.
There are slight nods to past stuff, for example, ballad Kevin Costner and the title track which, like most track on 'Cold Wind' gets better with every play.
With 'There Is Only You', The Xcert have managed to create a fantastic pop album while not decending into cringeworthy cheese (like another 2014 Scottish rock album). Along with their clever yet personal lyrics, the character of the band is still very resonant due in part to Murray MacLeod's angsty vocals sung with a bratty Aberdonian accent. It's one of the albums of the year.
Unlike 'In The Cold Wind We Smile' and 'Scatterbrain', 'There Is Only You' is an album that can be recommended to near enough anyone. It is a fantastic introduction to the band for any new listeners to the band.
The real feat is that The Xcerts have now released three albums. All of them great and all of them completely different. They've also managed to this while retaining their identity. The difference between releases simply show the growth of the band.