Back in 1998, a group called Komputer released ‘The World Of Tomorrow’. So accurately did it adhere to Kraftwerk’s synth pop template that it sounded like a new release from the German techno wizards. Fast forward thirteen years and a big welcome to Mirrors who add to the sense of deja vu by wearing the same suits and blank expressions.
The first offering represents the album in a nutshell, courtesy of ‘Fear Of Drowning’, which begins like ‘Europe Endless’ and ends more like OMD. Everything about the song presents itself as an early 1980’s synth pop pastiche and the formula changes little. In fact, only the slick production will convince anyone that the album was actually made this Century. That said, it’s enjoyable fare.
The synths may be over-polished and the vocals may be far too mannered but ‘Look At Me’ features an unshakeable hook. ‘Write Through The Night’ is the closest the group get to Kraftwerk’s sense of romantic longing and ‘Hide And Seek’ actually resembles an electronic boy band (albeit in a not unpleasant way). If only they’d picked up a bit of mystery along the way. The closest they come is on the last few minutes of ‘Secrets’ as the synths ebb away to convey a sense of loneliness after the calculated but melodic fare that precedes it.
Despite its second hand techniques, ‘Lights And Offerings’ is a record that deserves repeated plays thanks to its consistent melody. So even if they’re accused of stealing from others’ past glories, Mirrors could still provide a useful service by encouraging young listeners of this album to discover the original exponents of the genre.
Komputer, Kraftwerk, OMD