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Metronomy - Love Letters

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 7 / 4 / 2014

Metronomy - Love Letters
Label: Because Music
Format: CD


Playful but unsatisfying fourth album from much hyped 80's-influenced electronic act, Metronomy

Are you seated comfortably? Then we shall begin. Metronomy are Joseph Mount (composer, singer, keyboards and guitar), Oscar Cash (saxophone, backing vocals, guitars and keyboards), Anna Prior (drums and vocals) and Gbenga Adelekan (bass guitar and vocals), but before Metronomy there was the Upsides and just after them there was the Customers. The Upsides were a band that Joseph and Gabriel Stebbing (a part time Metronomy member) joined when still in their early teens, and they played proper original pop songs. The Customers started life in 1996 as a studio project for Will and Gregg (friends who lived in the next village), and played out live under the guise of a band called Willis until they changed their name to the Customers on Christmas Day 2001 when Joseph joined the band as drummer. Still with me? Good. After this Metronomy was born and started gigging in Brighton where they had relocated to from Totnes where they were from, and were sometimes backed by Gabriel(mentioned before) and Oscar Cash (now a full time member), and were called initially the Food Groups. Metronomy have a string of albums to their name mainly full of electro instrumentals, but have also done remixes for the likes of Gorillaz, Roots Manuva, Franz Ferdinand, Klaxons, Goldfrapp, the Young Knives, Zero 7, Ladytron, Kate Nash, Lady Gaga and Lykke Li. Now all of this sounds pretty complicated, and there is quite a story to be delved into when one has a bit more time than we have here. And my reason for telling you this? None at all, except to bring you up to date with the current issues and to introduce you to Metronomy's new album, which after all the complications of my storytelling is actually quite the opposite and is really quite basic in its sound. When I say basic I mean simple. When I say simple..eeek shovel...hole! You'll get my point in a bit, I am sure. This is their fourth studio album, and breaks a two year silence from the band. It starts with' The Upsetter' which ambles along with a solid guitar solo, and then moves on with the 'Shooop doop doop ahhh' of 'I'm Aquarius'. 'Monstrous' starts with an 80's Sega type game sound and drifts on. The title track softly wanders in with some pleasant-sounding reeds, and then kicks in with some quick uptempo beats and piano plonkings. I had to wait until the sixth track 'Boy Racers' to get a sample of what I was expecting from Metronomy, which was an 80's beat and moog type beeps. 'Reservoir' is reminiscent of early OMD with the electro drum beat and backing synthesisers which recall 'Julia's Song'. It finishes with 'Never Wanted', which is like a jaunt into another world. 'Love Letters' was recorded in Toe Rag Studios, where the the White Stripes have also famously recorded and which is renowned for taking old styles and bringing them to the present pzazz. So, with a pedigree like that I am wondering why I am not jumping up and down? It all left me a little short somehow. Don't get me wrong. It will appeal to all Metronomy fans, but having been brought up in the 80's and immersed myself in the foundations of this style of music and everything involves synths in every way I was expecting more from this somehow. Am I the only one not falling for the hype here?

Track Listing:-
1 The Upsetter
2 I'm Aquarius
3 Monstrous
4 Love Letters
5 Month of Sundays
6 Boy Racers
7 Call Me
8 The Most Immaculate Haircut
9 Reservoir
10 Never Wanted

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Photoscapes (2014)
Metronomy - Photoscapes
Darren Aston photographs acclaimed electro pop band Metronomy at the Liverpool O2 Academy

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