Gone is the wonky synth and in its place highly catchy and slick pop tunes and (to our ears) an album-long tribute to the band’s Ferdinand Mount’s influences over the years.
He recorded his early albums on his own and this sounds like it’s just him, too. The result is some of his best songs in years, if not ever.
After a solemn intro of synth and bells (it’s called Wedding) the album fires off with the low key but addictive Whitsand Bay, featuring a funky guitar, addictive bass and gentle lyrics.
Mount’s genius is best illustrated in the swaggering and confident Insecurity, a song about lacking confidence, a wonderful synth line filling in for what would be macho guitar soloing. Upset My Girlfriend is also good: it opens with the narrator confessing he played drums in a band but got so excited he went out of time, relating this to other unfortunate incidents where what should have been easy ended in disaster through inattention.
Salted Caramel Ice Cream is a dancefloor monster echoing Kylie’s Can’t You Out Of My Head. Lying Low has a more industrial sound with the repeated “Looooooow” echoing the Yello hit Oh Yeah. Miracle Rooftop echoes some old Ibiza hit from back in the day, Music Sounds Better With You, maybe.
Fans of the old sound are not forgotten, with songs like Lately, a chipper song about the sadness of love.
Closer is the stripped-down Ur Mixtape, where Mount remembers a girlfriend from his youth. He made her a mixtape; ten years later a bloke rushes up to him and says: “You loved my sister / I loved your mixtape / So let’s have a drink”, that old tale of man loves girl, man makes meaningful gesture girl completely ignores but a stranger loves enough for it to be worth a beer ten years later.
A joyous and wonderful album and we easily forgive the length (17 tracks, maybe on one song too long).
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