September 5, 2008
9 / 10
What constitutes a 9/10 album review? In a week where there are two outstanding British releases, it’s certainly a question worth posing. Guidelines point to a record that will sound as fresh and memorable, 10 years down the line, as it did the day it was first awarded its mark. It’s rare a reviewer is granted a decade of contemplation before making that decision; these days, we’re lucky if we get more than 48 hours. The Devonshire trio’s second record though, has been different.
Whether Metronomy mainman Joseph Mount realised he had a record of slow-maturing majesty on his hands, or (more likely) just had a shitload of remixes for the likes of Klaxons, Franz Ferdinand and Gorillaz to get through first, it’s been an unprecedented six months between promos for ‘Nights Out’ being sent out and the day of its release arriving. As an almost-daily fixture on the office stereo since March, it’s already clocked up more than enough plays for the paper-thin charms to wear off a lot of new releases. Not so ‘Nights Out’.
What started out sounding like a simple little home-grown electro record has uncoiled itself over a summer of listens into a multi-layered party playlist that gurgles out anthems without pause. “It’s a soundtrack to a bad weekend,” Mount has claimed, as deceptively humble as the music he makes. Bad weekend or not, it was certainly a big one: ‘Nights Out’ is so wired it can’t help breaking down and reanimating itself with a new eureka moment every 30 seconds. Within the first two songs it’s ripped through Middle Eastern exoticism, synthetic Tetris wonk-pop, oriental melodica jams and psycho speed synths. Then the big hitters start coming and don’t let up for the next seven (seven!) songs – ‘Radio Ladio’ (a ‘DISCO’ for our times), the euphoric ‘Holiday’, the world-wise ‘Heartbreaker’ and the Bloc Party/Prince bust-up of ‘A Thing For Me’, to name just four.
If Metronomy’s 2006 album ‘Pip Paine (Pay the £5000 You Owe)’ most closely resembled Hot Chip’s ‘Coming On Strong’ for debuts that were applauded but un-bought, then ‘Nights Out’ is their ‘The Warning’. It’s a sleeping giant of a dancefloor creeper that will be everyone’s favourite new electro album in approximately six months’ time. See you in March.
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