The Tab’s Album Round Up
GEORGE OSBORN reviews a handful of the releases from the past week.
Acolyte – Delphic Coming off the back of the indie, nu-rave, electro, 80s throwback wave (or whatever bloody trend NME calls this week), Sound of 2010 contenders Delphic launch their budding careers with a respectable, if a tad formulaic, opening salvo. Album opener “Clarion Call” displays clear Bloc Party influences and Delphic’s sound rarely diverts too far from the template established by forebears in the field. Hot Chip style beats dance with an XX style shimmer on “Red Lights”, while “This Momentary” threatens to explode “Papillon” style throughout but remains cool and composed as anything from Northampton based synth-smith “Maps”. But while “Acolyte” displays a high level of craftsmanship and competence, the lack of a clear original identity leaves the listener with the inescapable feeling that you’ve heard it all before. There is potential here, but it needs time to be realised. 6/10
Contra – Vampire Weekend The delightful Vampire Weekend return with a highly accomplished and stylish second album. Retaining their highly original afro indie pop, “Contra” provides another rush of the heady fresh air that the band’s eponymous debut gave. Single “Cousins” rattles like a child on fizzy pop, “White Sky” has a floaty keyboard riff more addictive than crack cocaine and the jumpy, excitable guitars on “Holiday” will get the teenyboppers as excited as “A-punk” did. “Contra” is the sound of a band cementing their position as a regular fixture in the music scene with confidence and assurance, unafraid to develop their own signature sound while ensuring it always sounds as brand new as the first day you heard it. 8/10
Fyfe Dangerfield – Fly Yellow Moon After spectacularly messing up Guillemots second album, Fyfe Dangerfield jettisons his band mates and the bad ideas to create a nicely assured debut. The lead single “She needs me” is a euphoric show stopper, bursting like a big band number in a Broadway musical and the rest of the album reflects the quality that Dangerfield somehow forgot for a brief period after “Through the Windowpane”. “Brand new” masquerades as a Richard Hawley classic in the making and “Faster than the Setting Sun” crashes as if British Sea Power were performing a Twilight Sad number. But it’s the painfully beautiful “Livewire” shows Dangerfield at his heartfelt and melodic best, aping Sufjan Stevens and death Cab for Cutie’s most delightful moments with consummate ease. Whether you’d replay this album as thoroughly as “Through the Windowpane” is debatable, but Dangerfield shows he still has the ear to delight and amaze in equal measure. 8/10