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Sometimes generic, sometimes 'on-trend'...
on 26 September 2014
Predicting what Klaxons’ third effort Love Frequency would sound like was always going to be a hard job. It's been seven years since their seminal debut - the raw, glitch-y, beautifully rowdy Myths of the Near Future. Since then Klaxons have only released their self indulgent electronic exploration, Surfing the Void. Predicting their next move is no easy task.
Straight from the off, Klaxons award Love Frequency some big, bad rave vibes. Shaking off the Casio keyboard tones of Myths of the Near Future, and scraping away the sludgy psyche of surfing; Love Frequency is essentially a big, shiny, polished album full of huge dance songs.
First single “There Is No Other Time” is the perfect example of this new sound, combining a funky Daft Punk bass line with house piano and a mega chorus. It’s equivalent to finding the Klaxons of old, dusting them down and giving them more expensive toys to play with. Other single “Children of the Sun” is similar, with the band finding their knack to write a song that's both catchy as s*** and completely nonsensical.
The problem is, as you've probably noticed, it's very hard to not compare this to their previous albums. There are points when Klaxons seem to be a different band altogether, and while there’s nothing wrong with reinvention, they seem get rid of everything that was great about them in the first place. There was always something brilliantly shambolic about the band, an unpredictable edge, but the new album seems to lose that. The songs are almost too tight, and slightly over-produced. While they’re clearly aiming for the charts with Love Frequency, it often feels like they're willing to do it by changing to fit in with what's popular.
The band has always said that they’re going to do a trilogy of albums, set in the future, past and present. The problem with Love Frequency being set in the present is that it makes them sound like everyone else. Myths of the Near Future really was the sound of the future; a future they helped to shape. Love Frequency feels like they're trying to shoe-horn themselves into the present, cutting off all their oddities in the process.
That said Klaxons manage to still do a pretty great job of it. Every song is dance-floor filler, an assault of pounding bass, rave-y synth lines and discos hi-hats. Though a bit more muted, the guitars make a welcomed return, often acting as a nice break from the constant electronics. There's even room for a slower, blissed instrumental in the form of “Liquid Light”, which is dripping in cascading synth.
There was never any chance of this album being anything like the previous ones. Despite sometimes sounding a bit generic, and a little bit "on-trend", Klaxons don't disappoint, delivering an album made for indie clubs everywhere.
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