x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Album review: Metronomy – Love Letters

This is smart music, but not, thankfully, the sort that lets smarts get in the way of the smooching.

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.

artslife@thenational.ae