Thieves Like Us: Again and Again (Shelflife) 

The music of Thieves Like Us is saturated with the unmistakable sounds of new wave—specifically, synth sounds straight out of Joy Division, New Order and The Cure's sound banks.

Again and Again, Thieves Like Us' aptly named sophomore album, sustains chord after chord of repetitive electronic meditations on love, but the redundant and derivative nature of the album is anything but annoying. Instead, the repeated references to the new-wave era are intoxicatingly nostalgic. Even the repetitive nature of the chord keys and vocal lines (compare the chorus of "Shyness" to "Silence") is trance-inducing in the same way the music of the original creators of new wave was meant to be. In other words, the Swedes and American behind Thieves Like Us not only capture the sound; they capture a little bit of the soul.

On "One Night With You," the energy feeds straight from New Order's "The Perfect Kiss." "Shyness" adds a touch of disco to the new-wave air, and underneath the joyous "Lover Lover" is a provocative electronic drone à la Depeche Mode (and, strangely, the Inception soundtrack). There's even a song called "The Walk," which one can't help but compare to the Cure song by the same name, especially when "So Clear," the next song, is so close to so many Cure songs.

With so many musical allusions, one also can't help but wonder if the name Thieves Like Us is to be taken literally—although their version of new wave feels more like an earnest homage than downright thievery.

More by Annie Holub


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