Outfit: Slowness

review outfit x1 cong

We remember Outfit’s 2013 debut Performance with mixed feelings: it evokes a memory of disappointment mixed with promise, and the fleeting thought “Why did we never leave that on the Review Corner iPod” followed by “It was only good in places”. This is better and we may now revisit that last album, which can now be seen in the context of a band improving its skills.
They play an unfashionable mix of the modern and the old fashioned: opener New Air’s jerky intro suggests Delphic but then the vocals come in and it’s more reminiscent of some Elton-John influenced 1980s band trying to bring ambition and piano to pop. Outfit are clearly all good musicians with ideas beyond mere pop, and there’s something of the mid-career Supertramp about them, the Even In The Quietest Moments era. Tears For Fears also spring to mind.
Most of the songs clock in around the four-minute mark but the richness and variation suggest something meatier as you listen, and you expect them to run on for ten minutes. After New Air comes the title track, a slower song with vocals ranging from regular singing to soaring falsetto, a slow beat and poppy guitar, plus rather deliberate piano: it’s all a bit mid-album Tears For Fears, themselves a band with no lack of talent and ambition.
Like the two bands mentioned, Outfit produce pop in the form of miniature symphonies, more noticeable in the Review Corner since we let classical music in the door. They’re not really a singles band but try the title track as a sampler. Lyrically, it apparently dwells on physical distance between lovers, the emotional distance when they return, inspired by the band’s real separation.

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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