Teenage duo Let’s Eat Grandma aim to consolidate their position as creative and dynamic artists in a world of musical homogeneity. I’m All Ears is bigger and bolder than debut LP I, Gemini, whilst also knowing when to rein in the ferocity or majesty. They’ve enlisted the help of a range of renowned producers too: David Wrench(The xx, Frank Ocean Caribou), SOPHIE (Madonna) and Faris Badwan (The Horrors). Double LP (including limited edition translucent yellow vinyl if you're quick enough) and CD on Transgressive.
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Let's Eat Grandma were notable for coming from Norfolk, looking identical and having lashings and lashings of hair which they sang oddball dream-like songs through leaving the impression that they were kind of two precocious teenage Kate Bushes who grew up on 2000s r&b. Their debut was intriguing if not always satisfactory but rather than go on their own merry way, this second album has enlisted hot shot production from the likes of the seemingly untouchable SOPHIE, David Wrench (The xx, Frank Ocean, Caribou) and more interestingly Faris Badwan (The Horrors).
What this has served to do is to scrub almost all the eccentricity out of their music and make them a much more dance floor friendly proposition which, if I'm being honest is a huge disappointment. Tracks like 'It's Not Just Me' are hard to distinguish from the other hoards of modern pop fighting for space on what remains of the airwaves. Now there's nothing to say that making pop music is a bad thing - artists from the Human League to the Horrors themselves have benefitted from a bit of a modern day pop scrub but all it does for Let's Eat Grandma is make them into everyone else.
Luckily it's not all a disaster. 'Cool and Collected' finally, finally (we're on track 7 after all) brings back the eerie magic of that first album. It's a slow moving gem of interlocked harmonies and fuzzy guitar strums, and closer 'Donny Darko' does a similar job over its 11 minutes. The beats and shiny production of the earlier tracks are all but a distant memory as the girls finally tap into the darkness and the weirdness. Of the pop stuff the SOPHIE produced 'Hot Pink' is probably the best thing here and perhaps it is understandable to have the odd crossover dance floor track amongst their strange world view but the album as a whole is weighed far too heavy towards sterile indistinguishable pop ...and there's all too little of what made them good in the first place.
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