Written by: Phoebe Raven, CC2K Staff Writer
Over the years I have annoyed stranger and friend alike with a lot of wacky music coming from my room, so I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to know that Architecture in Helsinki’s Places Like This will definitely go into my permanent collection.
The tone of their new album deviates dramatically from their earlier work, which sometimes makes me pine for the less spit-shined songs on Fingers Crossed or In Case We Die. The former was a spherical long player that relied largely on Kellie Sutherland’s angelic voice to carry the day. The complex, emotionally unstable lullabies were best listened to with your romantic interest or when your spirits are blue.
In Case We Die was more in the direction of what we get to hear this time around, albeit stretched out where Places grows schizo. It had fewer lyrics than Fingers Crossed and experimented with sound a bit more. The beats were still mostly mid-tempo, but AIH were making their way to their best, most bare bones work so far.
Places Like This might initially seem rushed and unfocused to some, but its unrelenting pop aesthetic (ten songs clock in at under 32 minutes) literally owns you by the first thirty seconds. You really can’t help but bop your head wildly and imagine colorful music videos (a fantasy the new design of their webpage [www.architectureinhelsinki.com] goes along with).
That being said, the new album makes for horrible background music. The record features a lot less of Kellie Sutherland’s singing, which is in theory a tragic loss, but when actually listening to the album you forget all about it because the guys can sing too.
The song that instantly made me jump up and shake my geeky bones was “Heart It Races”, the first single off the album, wisely chosen. It has a bit of a tropical feel to it and you hear bongos and chanting and start looking for the nearest campfire to dance around in your coconut bikini.
They follow with the rough and guitar-heavy “Hold Music”, literally teleporting you from the beach to a downtown bar with a rock band spaced out on their own sound. The next time this one plays at my favorite club—they actually play good music in Germany—I am dancing up to a hot guy and lip-syncing the “give it to me’s”. And right after that I am bouncing my bouncies to the intricately rhythmic “Feather In A Baseball Cap”, which is vaguely reminiscent of Depeche Mode’s latest efforts.
So there it is: try to sit still while these ten crazed tracks echo in your apartment. I bet my collection of Smurf figurines on it you won’t be able to.
Author: Phoebe Raven, CC2K Staff Writer
Born in Germany, lived in the US, now in the UK. Always taking my love for TV and writing with me. Life participator. Blogger. Gaming enthusiast.