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Metronomy: Summer 08

review metronomy x1 cong

Metronomy’s Joe Mount’s new album recalls when his band first made it big, summer 2008. We think we first saw him the year before, at the 2007 edition of Latitude; after hearing the music floating about a bit, we suddenly realised what he was trying to do with his quirky, out-of-kilter electronic pop.

Since the break-through album Nights Out (all about bad nights out in his home town), Metronomy got less weird on The English Riviera and Love Letters, so we like this new album because it’s got the pleasing quirkiness and variability of that first album.

In later years he had a band but for this he’s gone back to just him and his laptop. He’ll be serious about what he does, but his songs have a very English self-deprecating self-awareness feel about them.

Opener Back Together is a comically bitter song about how uni girls go for pretentious art students. Miami Logic is more regular in sound — metronomic in fact — while Old Skool is a send-up of West London culture, where everyone is rich and has an Addison Lee account.

It’s not all serious: 16 Beat is a love song to his favourite rhythm (imagine a sad British teenager recreating the Gibson Brothers’ Cuba on a laptop and you have the beat).

We’ve read some mixed reviews and we can see it’s not a perfect album, but part of the appeal of Metronomy was the imperfection — Mick Slow uses a Mick Karn (bassist in Japan) bassline and adds some words, “the kind of song I always dreamed would appear on a Metronomy record,” says Mount. It’s a bassline from a dreary Japan song but you humour Mount by enjoying it. Ditto closer Summer Jam, the music for a dodgy porn film made in 1973. A return to form, really.

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