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"I always choose a dungeon over the sea view"
on 26 March 2014
Electro-swing, dub, techno... how on Earth do you classify The Correspondents?
Here is the their long awaited debut album from DJ Chuckles and frontman Mr Bruce, who resembles a 1920s version of The Joker and can spit out lyrics like machine gun fire. The album is a strong, but flawed debut.
The highlights are:
"Fear And Delight" the album kicks into life. Stunning song, ever shifting and ultra dynamic, very exciting stuff. "Give You Better" suffers from an uninspiring start but when the chorus comes around it kicks into gear with giddy childlike fervour. "Devil's Lighthouse", like "Give You Better", it has a slow start but lighting the fuse with great synth blasts with the occasional burst of Mr Bruce's splenetic delivery. A shifting song with plenty to enjoy. "The Last Time" is REALLY good! A very interesting piece of music with a sample that I love but can't place what it is. This has a joyous euphoria and puts a smile on my face. A highlight of the album. Title track "Puppet Loosely Strung" exudes class, authority and style, using it's slower tempo to great effect.
The middling tracks are:
"Well Measured Vice" and "Back Again" are both solid. "Alarm Call" is interesting but the lyrics are a bit uninspiring. "Some Nights" is a stylish but low key end to the album.
The weaker elements are:
The opener "What Did I Do?" is an annoyingly slow opener. "Kind Of Love" is kind of bland. "In The Meantime" is a throwaway that could have been left off the album.
I must say that the long wait for this album has meant that it struggles to cope with the expectation from the bands phenomenal earlier work such as "Washington Square" and "What's Happened To Soho?"
I dont think as much of the duo's personality comes across as their earlier stuff, the "personality" of Mr Bruce isn't quite as full on as it used to be.
I'm inclined to say the album would be better shorter with a few of the songs trimmed, thus making the album a hell of a record to spin to get everyone dancing! A few songs could be a bit faster, parts of the album feel a little laid back, not enough of the album is as exhilerating as you think it might ought to be.
There is some great stuff however and if you like The Correspondents then it is worth hearing their debut, it just does not feel as exciting and vital as you might have been expecting.