If there’s a band Londoner Matthew Jennings needs to thank for making his music hip, it’s Hot Chip. They introduced a nerdy take on the electro-pop movement and still managed to bring it to the discos and the bedrooms. Admittedly, his sixth album as Talk Less, Say More, ‘England Without Rain’, works better in the home but the focus on tunes rather than gimmicks is clear from the outset.
From the orientally-flavoured opener ‘I Feel Like Making A Record’, it’s fair to say the vocals are an acquired taste (think The Human League’s Phil Oakey with a vocoder) so Jennings’ music largely stands and falls by the songs and the arrangements thereof. Amongst a plethora of delights, there’s staccato pleasures (‘Atlantic’), more Oriental touches for the highly addictive ‘Glockenspiel’ and an old school Pet Shop Boys-like title track, whereas ‘Like Neon’ is akin to hearing robots singing ‘London’s Burning’. The finale ‘Double Helixxx’, meanwhile, seems to pay respects to the energetic, danceable moments of the aforementioned Hot Chip.
Talk Less, Say More bring back the playful, fun side of electronica; whereby once unfashionable music is made palatable by an unfailing ear for melody. ‘England Without Rain’ may be directed more towards the nerds who refuse to dance but that doesn’t stop this music being any less enjoyable to hear.
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