Wednesday, February 1, 2012

CD Review: Chairlift, 'Something'

Posted By on February 1, 2012, 11:22 AM

Something is an inspired set of songs that weds Chairlift's experimental approach with a sound that doesn’t give off an impression of being unnecessarily obscure or unapproachable.---

To that end, Something takes nostalgic aim at evoking the popular aesthetic of revivalist '80s synth-pop. Something might be experienced as simply another rider, surfing the same wave of popularity as retrospective artists like MGMT, Neon Neon and Cut Copy were it not for the musical mastery that the New York group brings to the album. While the album’s likeness to the throwback trend of recent years is unmistakable, Caroline Polachek’s brilliant vocals are paired with challenging melodies and powerfully energetic rhythmic to establish Chairlift as a distinctive creative force among their peers.

Their starkly individualistic style is clear with the release’s first single, “Amanaemonesia,” a spunky new-wave dancefloor track, and that's followed by “Met Before,” which sports feverish drums and aggressive, distorted guitar lines. Appearing roughly midway through Something, these cuts don’t stand alone without support from the rest of the album’s densely layered, glittery songs. The listener, who is most likely too young to realize it, is immersed in theatric relocations from the golden years of '80s movie soundtracks, from the record’s start to finish. Something, in its time-warping effect, is a greater nod to Chairlift’s new-wave influences than many similar statements made by their contemporaries. (DMZ/Columbia Records, Jan. 24)

Rating: ***

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