Record review: Metronomy – Love Letters (2014, LP)

The best thing about Metronomy’s 2011 breakthrough The English Riviera was that founder and chief songwriter Joseph Mount allowed what began as a fairly obscure solo electronic act to finally blossom into a full-blown band. The result was an album of exquisite and visionary pop that turned the quartet into an international concern, and once again it’s when Mount relinquishes control on Love Letters that the resulting sounds are most exciting. After three tracks of beeps, clicks and pseudo-baroque synth tickling it finally happens in exuberant and celebratory fashion on the sing-along title track, followed by the laid-back ‘Month of Sundays’ and creepily noir-ish ‘Boy Racers’. The mood doesn’t last throughout the second half of the album, and despite ‘Reservoir’ offering somewhat of a lifeline, the end comes in rather limp fashion with the plodding ‘Never Wanted’. Eclecticism has always been a large part of Metronomy’s appeal, but Love Letters is an album of two halves, and only one of them is in any way memorable.

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