Joe Mount and his electronic-rock outfit Metronomy return with Love Letters, the follow-up to their raft-rocking Mercury Prize nominated third album The English Riviera.
Love Letters, the fourth album from the Devon unit, is surprisingly humble and reserved for the most part. Instead of jetting off from the masterpiece in reservation in search of that ‘big’ sound, Metronomy are clearly sticking to their strengths here, crafting an album that holds on to these qualities that made The English Riviera such a marvel to listen to. Despite this, Love Letters is a weaker effort than its predecessor. It just doesn’t elicit that same fanatical excitement that its predecessor did, and that’s a shame.
But that’s not to say that the album is poor. Far, far from it. Love Letters is further evidence to the unfathomable talent of frontman and godlike genius Joe Mount (90% of the recording of this new record was done by Mount). There is a lot to feast on from this latest offering. Metronomy have successfully carried forward their cool precision and intelligence, adding in some harmonies, hand claps and good old-fashioned charm to top it off.
Personal highlights from the album include Reservoir, with its delicious, delirious electronica simmering throughout. Other highlights include album opener The Upsetter, with a gorgeous, gentle guitar riff gliding along near the end, along with the joyous palette-cleansing instrumental of Boy Racers.
Titular track and single Love Letters is certainly a highlight on the album – it just soars. Big and bombastic, the song hurtles forward with incredible energy, its loveable piano riff roaring throughout. It’s a fantastic song, evoking a strong sense of nostalgia (was this song really made in 2014?). It is definitely this album’s The Bay – in the respect that both of those albums were largely restrained in sound apart from one barnstorming single hurled into the track list.
Love Letters is not the fourth-album behemoth some might have been expecting from Metronomy. Instead, we are introduced to an even more restrained sound that gently slides across the table just one more reason to fall for Metronomy. Consistently producing electronic music which is intelligent and most of all, fun, Metronomy still hold on to that dash of quirkiness and outsider charm that places them amongst the most endearing electronic British artists going today. Who would want them any other way? Watch them soar.