Love Letters is the fourth album release from UK electro-pop band Metronomy. Formed and fronted by Joseph Mount, Metronomy are one of the most recognized modern British new wave bands, with most of their recognition coming from their vast list of remixes. Gorillaz, Lady Gaga, Lykke Li and many others have had the pleasure of their songs receiving a Metronomy makeover, the latter being a groove-ridden new wave version of her track “I’m Good, I’m Gone” which is actually somehow better than the original.
Love Letters‘ predecessor, the incredibly expansive The English Riviera, was the “big” album as far as Metronomy were concerned. It was met with extremely favourable reviews and along came with it all manner of award nominations, impressive album sales, and an exclamation to the world that Metronomy were a force to be reckoned with. Many pondered if Metronomy would then throw in the towel and bow to pop obscurity, forgetting the genius that has gone before and pushing down a more radio friendly path. Thankfully, Metronomy gripped their towel close to their chest and produced an impressive and personal album in Love Letters.
“The Upsetter” is simple in it’s composition, consisting of nothing more than a 4 by 4 drum beat, gently strummed acoustic guitar, and Mount’s vocals. It’s a technique commonly used by Metronomy throughout Love Letters, but it works well, considering the personal and self reflecting nature of the lyrics. On tracks such as “Monstrous” and “Call Me” the music itself is very subdued. Both songs aren’t for the faint hearted; At times during listening you find yourself drifting, letting the lyrics invade your brain until you eventually start reflecting on yourself.
“Boy Racers” is one of Metronomy’s funkier numbers, most notably because of it’s prominent bass riff. Stand out track “I’m Aquarius” is as new wave as they come. It adds something more to the blend of personal poetry and gives you something to tap your foot to.
Fans of Metronomy’s earlier work looking for the same won’t find it here. The summery synth pop has been replaced by a more experimental, soulful effort. Mount’s production style fits the nature of the album admittedly, ensuring the sound of each instrument is kept as low key as possible. Nothing ever gets out of control and the album overall has a very minimalistic feel to it.
Freelance writer still stuck in the 90’s.
Favourite albums; Young Americans, Hours, Out From The Vein, In Utero.