24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
A grower ..., 4 Dec 2008
Being honest I was horrified when I first played the latest effort from my favourite band. At times it sounds so different from Hot Fuss and Sams Town , but that wasn't the problem. It was the instruments and production they had chosen. "Is that the saxophone from some long forgotten Sade track I can hear ? Yes it is" ... "Those drums sound like they came from Club Tropicana by Wham!" ... in other words , where Hot Fuss took it's influences from the best of 80's pop ( New Order / early Duran Duran ), they are using some sounds here that remind you of the worst from that decade. The production by Stuart Price ( Madonna - Confessions On a Dancefloor ) is very clever in places but too lightweight overall.
Still , I persevered as I love the band so much and there were a clutch of songs I loved right away. 'Human' is gorgeous. The best song the Pet Shop Boys never wrote , sung by a much better singer than Neil Tennant. 'Losing Touch' is classic Killers. 'Spaceman' is a fantastic rollercoaster of fun rock and should be a huge hit when released as a single. It took about eight listens and eventually I came to love every track except for the final one 'Goodnight , Travel Well' , which has well meaning lyrics but it's a case of "spot the tune" ( don't try too hard , there isn't one .. ). When you get over the change in style , the strength of the songwriting here really shines through. I suspect this album will get mixed reviews from many people as there are so many songs that grow on you and not so many that hit you right away. Give it a chance though and I suspect you'll end up loving it as much as I do , there are not many bands in the world as big as this one willing to take as many musical risks by changing styles so frequently. Against the odds , they've pulled it off again.