All the high-life sounds, none of the passion
Like a west coast [a]Vampire Weekend[/a], this 12-piece LA group are in thrall to the potential of blending the sounds of Africa and beyond with a glossy and polite American pop sheen. It’s tempting, then, to see their moniker as a cheap attempt to deflect accusations that they’re pilfering colonialists raiding far-off lands. For their eponymous debut is high-life reinterpreted with a synth-pop twist, the occasional flourish of saxophone and, curiously, lyrics sung in Hebrew. While ‘[b]Surprise Hotel[/b]’ and ‘[b]Night Dancing[/b]’ make for postmodern magpie pop, there’s something curiously passionless about this record. ‘[b]Fool’s Gold[/b]’ might mine a rich vein, but they rarely forge anything more than mere tourist trinkets.
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