Home Video house the talents of songwriter Colin Ruffino and classically-trained musician David Gross. Making music together since 1997, their releases have been sporadic to say the least and it wasn’t until 2006 that their debut album ‘No Certain Night Or Morning’ was released. No matter, the second album from the New Orleans duo demonstrates evidence of studio perfectionism backed up by emotionally-driven melody.
There’s an early indication of an American take on Junior Boys from the opening strains of ‘Accomplished But Dead’. Against a primtive backing of clean but primtive synth lines, Colin Ruffino holds court with his emotive words. It’s important not to get too comfortable though as – by the song’s finale – it has been submerged with far too many electronic layers. More consistently satisfying is ‘The Smoke’ where the song builds from an insistent bassline in to a warm, comforting chorus. From this, they manage to pull off a very decent Radiohead impression on the yearning ‘Business Transaction’ and then repeat the trick again for the last song ‘You Will Know What To Do’.
In such fine company, the title track comes across as energetic but generic and is a rare mis-step. Yet ‘Every Love That Ever Was’ restores them as the owners of the “electronic dreamers” tag, ‘I Can Make You Feel It’ could work on the dancefloor but its underlying tension works equally well in the home, whilst the stunning ‘Beatrice’ is one of those songs where the verses are as heavenly as the chorus.
Granted, both the production and vocals can become a little too smooth at times but Home Video generally temper their obvious commercial power with a lot of heart. ‘The Automatic Process’ is one of those rare records which bridges the gap between popular music, night club euphoria and critical respect.
Renfro, Maps, Radiohead