Subgenres in music are created every day; I mean look at all the ways you can break down metal music: death, thrash, black, British, Nu, speed, grindcore – and the list will go on. There seems to be an underlying trend in pop music that I noted last year when I wrote about Lykke Li’s album. I have heard this trend called “neo-soul”, this harkening back to AM Gold hits of the 50’s or 60’s and giving it a modern twist: Fitz and the Tantrums, Adele and so on. If you happen to hear the first single off the debut album by Electric Guest you would imagine they were also carrying this neo-soul torch. You would think that, wouldn’t you, Avid Reader?
First and foremost, this album was produced by Dangermouse, and if you have ever followed some of the work he’s done then you know he has a penchant to make music that has the AM Gold flavor. I kept hearing that single on the radio and thinking to myself: hey this sounds pretty catchy and where can I get more of it? It wasn’t easy getting a copy of this album and I think I know why.
I’m going to put it right out there: this album could be Broken Bells and I can picture James Mercer singing some of these tracks. It shouldn’t shock you since DM produced that one too, but this sounds like a cheaper carbon copy trying to survive off of one interesting single. There are a few moments that seem to shine, and then you read a little more to find this is just two guys that got together and programmed an album.
If you haven’t been deterred yet try: “Waves”, “Under the Gun”, “American Daydream” and the single “This Head I Hold” which is super catchy (and none of the other songs can hold much of a candle to that single). All too often groups put a lot of time into one single to gain exposure and then give nine tracks of filler. This is one to download or just skip.