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on 11 March 2014
Love Letters is the fourth studio album from Joseph Mount and his Metronomy collective.

This album has been hotly anticipated, riding on the back of 2011's Mercury nominated The English Riviera. I myself have been eagerly awaiting this release; my expectations heightened by the fantastic single 'I'm Aquarius'.

After my first listen of the album I decided to browse through a collection of critic reviews. I was pretty astounded at some of the comments that ranged from 'dull' to 'uninteresting' - most reviews claimed a pretentious aura that follows Mount and the lack of delivery in this album. I wasn't aware that the band split opinion so much and I was certainly not aware that this was a bad album from my first listen.

Since last night I have now listened to the album three more times. Not because I was trying to figure it out, but simply because I really really enjoyed it. Apart from perhaps the instrumental failure of the strangely minimal/kraftwerk 'Boy Racers' all the tracks possess a quality and feeling that I can indulge in. I actually loved this album and I'm starting to wonder what exactly people expect a band to produce these days? I may agree it's not as good as their last but it still stands up as a really pleasurable listen. Reminiscent of Supertramp or Motown, Metronomy dive into the 60s but there still remains the heartfelt longing and quirky undertone that fans will still adore.

The empty synthetic drumbeats intend to push the focus onto Mount's lyrics which are often left wanting and are not too advanced. For a lot of people this seems to be a real let down, but for me I don't particularly mind if the music sounds great. For music I would prefer it this way round than the other! And actually I quite like the nostalgic 'love letters' theme that pines for a romance of times gone - when you think about it this way the classic 60s music influence makes a lot more sense and sounds right.

Listen to: 'The Upsetter', 'I'm Aquarius', 'Month of Sundays', 'Call Me', 'Never Wanted'
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If the English Riviera was the haunting sound of a grand, derelict, seaside dance hall, then Love Letters is the sound of the seaside resort's amusement arcades - all fizzy pop and beeps. Reservoir is the best track.

Loving the auto-rip facility from Amazon - takes all the hassle out of CD rips. Thanks
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on 16 March 2014
After the first listen, you could be forgiven for feeling slightly underwhelmed with this album, but after that the songs stick in your brain and you end up loving this album. Different from anything they've done before, and still awesome!
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"Love Letters" - The latest LP from formidable English synthpop darlings METRONOMY. "Love Letters" : Nice title for a record. However, many reviewers on Amazon, thus far, seem to be implying that this quietly great collection of tunes should be titled "Love Lettuce". They seem to be implying that much of the music here is bland, uninspiring and diluted in flavour (much like...ahem... get the idea!...)

Indeed, I, WAS somewhat underwhelmed when I first listened to this album. On the whole, I just thought that many of the tunes drifted like flotsam and I couldn't engage. I tried. I failed.

Subsequent time spent with these songs, however, has allowed me to warm to them enormously. Indubitably, this album is a GROWER. Granted, a large portion of these songs have a subdued tone (detractors may use the word "restrained"). I am now of the opinion that the best term for this music is "quietly beautiful".

"The Upsetter" is a great opening tune. It simmers and fills the listener with anticipation (like all great openers should). "I'm Aquarius" kicks in next, notable for its cute "shoop-shoop" backing vocals. "Monstrous", meanwhile, sounds like what would happen if JS Bach leaped in to a time machine, landed in the 1970's and started prodding an analogue synth. Baroque brilliance!

"Love Letters", the title track : I'm guessing you're familiar with this. A dangerously infectious chorus, Supertramp piano, drum rolls and a melancholy trumpet. Pop perfection? YUP.

After "Love Letters" the vibe of the album is more sparse and minimal and I'm guessing that this is what has alienated some listeners. However, there is much to enjoy here. "Boy Racers" is a warm, groovesome instrumental that is lifted by some scorching guitar at the end. It evokes driving through a neon-drenched city. "Call Me" is a cracking tune with an expertly crafted vocal melody. "The Most Immaculate Haircut" (something I've never laid claim to) sparkles with guitar arpeggios. "Reservoir" skips merrily on an uptempo beat and should please fans of the old stuff. "Never Wanted" closes the record softly, with muted guitar and a contemplative vocal.

My advice would be : Stick with it. Okay, so it's not as catchy on the surface as the splendid "English Riviera". It's not as punchy as "NIghts Out", perhaps. However, it's a different beast. If you're looking for a collection of "jukebox hits", definitely look elsewhere. If you like the sound of some understated, beautifully conceived songs that creep up on you, then join the (not so raucous) party.

Personally, I think this may just be their finest album. Time will tell.....
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on 18 May 2014
You might not like it straight away, especially if you haven't heard much of Metronomy's stuff from beforehand (I only knew a couple of songs), but it's definitely a really varied album that's great for summer. Plus, I went to see in Leeds and they were really great live, really seemed like they were having fun and complemented each other really well.
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on 31 May 2014
This is a great album and the vinyl edition is just fantastic. The album was recorded analogue and it shows. The vinyl sounds beautifully warm and open. Excellent pressing. It also comes with a CD of the album. Very good synth pop with some 60's throwbacks. One of the best releases of the year.
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on 11 March 2014
i agree with others who have labelled this a bit of a B side sounding effort - some of these tracks sound like demos that didn't quite make the cut for the english riviera - interesting-ish, but not that many are quirky or catchy, not even matching "corinne" or "everything goes my way" - there are none i would want to play to my mates and proudly say "you've got to hear this", but there are a few where girlfriends/wives might comment on "how nice that sounds" (and thats normally a bad sign for my tastes) - this almost sounds like a record you'd make as a nice present for a girl so she'd think you were a sweet guy!

however, this sort of sound may appeal to many metronomy fans, especially as the "english riviera" seems to have been better received than "nights out" by the music press - depends on which metronomy sound you lean towards?

i much preferred the more up-tempo, clever, punky racket of nights out (that i could imagine dancing to in a basement club), as opposed to the more pleasant sounding english riviera (that would be a gentle cd to listen to on a sunday afternoon drive in the country with the window down) - you get the idea

i'm off to see them live next week and i suspect that a lot of the crowd will want them to "get the new stuff out of the way first" before moving onto the "proper stuff" - thats the feel i get from the new record, it just doesn't have enough catchy numbers that will keep me coming back for more listens - hopefully the live versions are more spiced up, but i think that will be a difficult ask, and maybe not suited anyway to the sound the band are now seemingly aiming for

there is nothing on here to touch, or sound along the lines of "you could easily have me", "radio ladio", "my heart rate rapid", "heartbreaker", "holiday", "a thing for me" etc - if you didn't really like the songs just listed, but preferred "she wants", "the look", "the bay" then you'll probably find "love letters" more to your tastes

when i listen to "late night tales" (and there are a few decent songs on there) i kind of thought "i can see where metronomy (joseph) has got his influences from but i'm glad the band don't actually sound like that" - with "love letters", i'm rather disappointed to say they do

i still don't think they've got anywhere near "nights out" since 2008 and this is a further step away from that sound in my opinion - ok overall, but just ok
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on 5 May 2014
Having heard and enjoyed the toe rag ep ( free mp3 download from amazon ) I thought I buy the cd, the opening track "the upsetter"is a wonderful song and a great opener, but the albums title track ""love letters" is awful , the single from the cd is "I'm a Aquarius" and is just ok and a bad choice for a single, a bit boring but then comes along "reservoir " and "the most immaculate haircut" of which again are great songs, three great songs on this cd and " the upsetter" is the best and should have been the single. Worth a purchase !
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on 4 June 2014
Metronomy have been gathering momentum for a number of years; and with great acclaim for some of their previous albums, their latest release Love Letters should get some music buyers attention for their range of work.

Whilst the album is solid electro-pop, some tracks fare better over others, including the lovely Monstrous, and the excellent piece of disco that is Boy Racers. Some of the tracks do test their patience with you, such as the overtly repetitive Reservoir, as the listener. So whether you are a fan of electro-pop, or not, there should be something for you to enjoy.

Love Letters may not make the strongest impression on you, as the listener, but does provide you with enough substance to either check out the rest of Metronomy's back catalogue, or go find something more to your liking.
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on 19 March 2014
I have been a follower of all things Metronomy ever since the first album and they have always intrigued by the new sound that gets unveiled each album, until now! There is nothing particularly wrong with 'Love Letters' but not a lot outstanding either. Every musician/ band has to have an off day and I think this might be Joseph and Co's 'off' album. There is nothing that really stands out. There are a few tracks which draw your interest for as they show the usual Jo Mount quirkiness, namely 'Month of Sundays' and my stand out track on the album 'Boy Racers'. It's very retro-electro. Even sounding vaguely Kraftwerkish.

Unusually for a Metronomy album there are a few tracks that I have really not gelled with yet, 'Monstrous' is basic and lives up to it's name! 'Call Me' sounds like a couple of guys doing a school project! In many respects this albums sounds like a rush job but I am sure there will be much better things to come.
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