In what they’re ostentatiously calling their last ever album, Royksopp have gone out on with a well controlled bang. But thankfully their output will only see them discontinue the out-dated format of releasing albums. From their choice selection of guest vocalists, to their cinematic use of restrained instrumental flourishes, they’re at the top of their game. It’s an adult and uniquely melancholic form of pop music only a philistine could not relate too.
Opening with the vocoder ridden Skulls and quickly sliding into another electronic opus, Monument is another perfect Robyn single, as found on the previous Do It Again EP. It’s yet another glorious notch in the bedpost of that harmonious Scandinavian three-way.
Elsewhere on the album, you’ll find plenty of monster bass synth riffs, the kind that made us first fall in love with Daft Punk, and subsequently served Justice so well. Except Royksopp have being doing it all along. Of the usual suspects, the noticeable new addition to the clan is Jamie of The Irrepressibles fame, doing quite a few shifts on vocals duties. I Had This Thing takes Jamie dragging and screaming towards the dancefloor to pine away through electro-disco, and there hasn’t been such an uplifting guest miserablist since Antony Hegarty joined Hercules and Love Affair for floorfiller Blind. He almost snatches the crown from Robyn, but her droning on Rong (as in, “what the fuck is wrong with you”) is drowning in sad synths and sweeping orchestration. So short, so not sweet. It’s basically the soundtrack to spending too much time reading over-involved Twitter posts about absolute nonsense.
This is undeniably a more pop album than you would normally divine from the swearing, the depressing sentiments, bleak melodies, sparse electro and eerily subtle orchestration of the whole thing. But take another listen to Here She Comes Again and tell us that it doesn’t have an odd an unexpected similarity to Red Blooded Woman by Kylie. Sordid Affair is electro-pop worthy of the adoration (and sales) that Taylor Swift has gained for her considerably lighter and less emotionally involved take on the genre. It’s like being gently hypnotised, not quite arms-in-the-air EDM, but the kind of little dance you might do on your own while you at the queue to the bar, hearing everything as though underwater. These boys are the kings of downer pop, operating in the no-mans land between the dancefloor and the chillout room. Whether they release a full album, or drip feed us one track at a time, long may they reign.
Bob Henderson AKA @bobchicalors
Maxell Music Monday Competition
As part of our Music Monday’s, we want to give you a pair of fantastic M by Maxell in-ear headphones, as well as a copy of The Inevitable End. To enter the competition, just follow these steps.
Step One – Check out the M by Maxell website and find the three M by Maxell in-ear headphones, then choose your favourite model.
Step Two – Email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us which model is your favourite, your name and your postal address.
Step Three – Sit back, relax and wait for us to pull your name out of the tombola. The competition is open until November 17th, and we’ll let the winner know by November 19th.