Favorite

Rhythm & Views 

Architecture in Helsinki

For a band like Architecture in Helsinki, the word "unfocused" is not pejorative. So why the intense focus on Places Like This? Gone are both the stumbling looseness and pleasant vicissitudes that made 2005's In Case We Die a small gem. In their place, frontman Cameron Bird seems to have fallen head over heels for the B-52's and embraced extravagant twee gestures.

The album's overall positive feel, as Bird and Kellie Sutherland trade off vocal quirks over ebullient beats and electronics, tends to inveigle listeners. But this charm dissipates quickly, leaving a few great tunes, a handful of head-bobbers and a series of embarrassing miscues in the wake.

The disco-thump and otherworldly atmospherics of opener "Red Turned White" recapture past magic, while the ascetic restraint and subtle layering of "Heart It Races" are spacey fun. Elsewhere, "Lazy (Lazy)" allows a listless musical phrase to germinate into an ecstatic explosion of melody and distorted shouts.

Those successes, however, do not erase the awkwardness of the snappy-pop-cum-stadium-rock disaster "Nothing's Wrong," or the indulgent sugar-blasts of the maddeningly repetitive "Hold Music," to name just a couple of the problem tunes. For such a short album (10 songs, 31 minutes)--and this is the really depressing part--there is only enough impressive material for a minor EP.

The group is still a joyous sight to behold live, but future releases should stay away from places like this.

More by Michael Petitti

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Vintage Vinyl

    Quinstrels "I've Got a Girl"/"Tell Her" Moxie Records M.R.C.—1965
    • Jul 13, 2017
  • Vintage Vinyl

    The Frozen Sun “Electric Soul”/”Electric Soul” (long version) Captain Zoomar Records, 1969
    • Jun 29, 2017
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation