See what DJ Nicole Spencer has to say about Metronomy's newest release, Love Letters, and just try to resist giving it a listen. We dare you.
Love Letters by Metronomy
When I heard Metronomy was releasing a new album, I was extremely excited and a little nervous. After the lusciousness that was The English Riviera, I didn't know if the next album would be as good. Thankfully, my fears were unwarranted. Love Letters delivered (no pun intended [but actually yes because you deliver love letters in the mail]).
If I had to choose one word to describe the album, I would choose "inventive." If you are familiar with Metronomy's previous work, you'll know that each album they've released has been almost completely different from its predecessor. Love Letters is no exception. I enjoyed how the band experimented with a funkier, soulful sound; the background vocals juxtaposed to the jazzy keyboards, synthesizers, and guitars made a sound that was distinguished and interesting. In general, the vocals on this album are a bit more distanced which create a live-in-your-bedroom-or-car-or-whatever vibe. You know what they say: if you give a mouse a cookie he'll ask for some milk. Well, if you give Metronomy a few instruments and microphones they'll make a refreshing new sound anyone can enjoy.
Recommended tracks: "I'm Aquarius", "Love Letters", "Month of Sundays", "Reservoir"
Read on for a track-by-track review of Love Letters:
1. The Upsetter
This song is a great opener for the album. It sets the stage for a totally new sound. The gentle strumming of a guitar and soft vocals set a relaxed, dreamy mood. The lyrics reference a "Riviera" which I think is a very clever nod to their previous album, The English Riviera.
2. I'm Aquarius
Despite my instinctive inclinations to reject a song about an astrological sign, I must admit, I really enjoyed this track for its dulcet lyrics. My favorite is, "I've seen our stars but there's nothing aligning." There are so many things that are great about this song, but the lyrics and the "shoo doo doo ah"s in the background make it a jam. In terms of overall sound, I think this song is the closest to The English Riviera.
At first, I wasn't a huge fan of this song. But after a few more listens, it has definitely grown on me. As cheesy as this sounds, the opening lyrics, "Everything and nothing matters now with you" warmed my heart. (Metronomy usually has a heart-melting effect for me). The wonderful keyboarding in this track is a gentle build to the next track.
4. Love Letters
This song starts with lovely, relaxed trumpet-y sounds. Then, about eighty seconds in, it picks up with force. In a matter of seconds it transforms into a jam. A soulful chorus ties together the nearly flawless combination of back up vocals, piano, and drums together. This song will be the perfect addition to my next rush hour traffic jam session.
5. Month of Sundays
The strings in this song speak to my soul. I found myself swaying to and fro while snapping my fingers. This music is medicine.
6. Boy Racers
This song is reminiscent of the Nights Out days of Metronomy. This is a wordless, electronic jam.
7. Call Me
"Call it what you like" but "Call Me" is what I like to "Call" a life-ruiner. That is a good thing. It makes it memorable. If you get a chance to really listen to the lyrics, you'll appreciate the song even more. It is at this point where the album really picks up. The next couple of tracks are the golden ones.
8. The Most Immaculate Haircut
This could be my favorite song… mostly because of the title. All joking aside, this song is one of the most unique songs on the album. Its major strength is the bass in the background that complements the passionate vocals. When I first heard it, I was surprised and mesmerized by the cicadas and random water splashing. As I write this I realize that sounds strange, but it is a pleasant experience.
This one was my overall favorite. For starters, it reminds me a little of the haunted castle level in Super Mario--I'm talking about the old school Super Nintendo version. The keyboard and synths in the background are comfortably haunting, and the lyrics are even better. I found it to be the catchiest song after "Love Letters." My favorite lyric is "Heartbeats aaaaaah". Just listen, you'll understand why (hopefully).
10. Never Wanted
This song is a slow heartbreaker. It wraps up a great album. No other words.
After listening to Love Letters six times, I give it a solid 8.5. It is definitely worth a listen. If you don't like it in the first listen, give yourself a day and then try it again. And then again while lying on the floor of your living room. And then again in your vehicle. Let the soothing sounds of Metronomy make you feel poetic.