This is smart music, but not, thankfully, the sort that lets smarts get in the way of the smooching.
Album review: Metronomy – Love Letters
Metronomy Love Letters (Elektra) ⋆⋆⋆⋆
As Metronomy, Joseph Mount makes a very modern sort of electronic pop music, boned up on music history and with a sharp eye for a concept: see their Mercury-nominated 2011 album The English Riviera, which elegantly reimagined Mount’s rather dreary homeland, the English county of Devon, as a Monte Carlo-style playboy’s paradise. Its follow-up, Love Letters, feels rather more rootless, inspired by the loneliness and longing of the touring life. Such transience hasn’t, thankfully, blunted Metronomy’s talent for a poppy earworm. On I’m Aquarius, cushioned synths and hissy drum-machine snares wrap around girl-group backing vocals and a lyric toying with the imagery of astrology. “You said our love was written in the stars,” croons Mount. “But I never paid attention to my charts.” Elsewhere, Boy Racers is a catchy, continental dance instrumental with a kitsch Italo-disco feel, while the title track is a wistful, vintage-sounding soul shimmy that channels 1960s French pop and Roxy Music. This is smart music, but not, thankfully, the sort that lets smarts get in the way of the smooching.