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- Idle Labor by Craft Spells
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Now I wasn't mad on this bedroom producer last time I caught him in action. He's expanded his palette a little to fill up his debut album and his more brittle sound now makes more sense. Yes, it's 80's sensitive new-wave pop time but wait!! Please don't run away!! Take, for instance 'Scandinavian Crush' which is an uplifting dream of a song, so wonderfully constructed you'll punch the air afterwards! Other tunes recall mid 80's Factory (IE a slightly limp New Order), late 80s twee or even quickly visit dream pop pastures but the combination of perky, sparse guitar licks & frisky drum machine on the last single (included here) could still do with a different vocal style in my mind. It doesn't work like, say, The Smiths did (IE jaunty music vs maudlin voice) and annoys me considerably. I think he's got some good quality tunes under his belt though but I'm left feeling like he's just rifled through someone's pop & indie collection from the 80s and adopted various guises without injecting a great deal of originality in there. There's so many vocal intonations & half buried melodies within this album that irritatingly recall numerous half-forgotten old established acts. If you're a fan of the Captured Tracks label you'll find plenty to enjoy but I'd like to see Sniper & co adapt their schtick to other fields & actually leave the 80s occasionally.....
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