To this writer (and please forgive my bias) this was their best record. Predecessor The English Riviera may have had the consistently great tunes and dance-pop moves that saw it reach near iconic status but Love Letters was a more out-there experimental work that ranged from Motown pop (the title track) to introspective yearning (I'm Aquarius) to superb shimmering jangle pop that brought to mind the likes of Love and the Teardrop Explodes. Not particularly a fan favourite it seems but Love Letters is a diverse and fascinating document.
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There just aren’t enough people with curly hair these days so good on Metronomy main-man Joseph Mount for battling ahead and sticking one in the eye of the straight hairs.
I had no idea of his potential hair handicap when a rollocking Northern Soul tune came on the wireless the other day. I hurtled into the kitchen like a whip to find out that it wasn’t some old Motown cast off but was in fact the new single by Metronomy. Yup, the title track of this album is quite the something; catchy as a pig on a promenade you’ll never get it out of your head (and that's a threat). Like many of Metronomy’s numbers it sounds strangely unfinished but that kind of adds to the charm.
As you are aware there are more than one song on LP’s and the ‘I’m Aquarius’ is another fine thing with its shoop doop doop backing vocals over the minimal electronics perfect summer weather melancholy pop to drive down Clitheroe high street to. ‘Monstrous’ is pretty funny too with a Young Marble Giants organ squiggle wandering hither, thither whilst Mount sings insouciantly on top. This charming off kilter electronic pop fun exemplifies the laid back magpie-like musical fun on offer.
Its not all primitive electronics mind; ‘Month of Sundays’ has layers of jangly guitars and reminds me of a cheerier The The. They are never afraid to use a drum machine, the album is not polished to the max, on tracks like the jangle-some ‘The Most Immaculate Haircut’ the guitar cuts out as if someone can’t be bothered playing it back in. Its these quirky charms and….oh...a grab bag of great truly tunes is what makes ‘Love Letters’ a tremendously enjoyable record. And I’ve never even heard ‘The English Riviera’. Go seek!
10/10 Owain 16th July 2014
I was tempted into buying the record after hearing 'Resevoir' on YouTube, also the fact that the 12" comes with a CD so I can listen to it in the car helps.
This isn't a flashy album, it's Metronomy's fourth and the sound of a band (artist) taking stock and retreating into their head slightly. As such the analog production and minimal lofi warmth of the tracks don't hold the album back (like suggested in much of the press reviews) but provide the perfect context in which to understand the songs and the album. It takes a few listens but when you get there it really is a breath of fresh air in a World so heavily focused on style and instant accessibility. I'm very hard to please and other than some current European Electronica have not found anything current of interest before this and since James Yorkstons last record. If you buy it, be sure to give it a good 4 listens before casting judgement.
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