London indie four-piece, defined by two neat haircuts and two less neat, Teleman follow-up 2016’s Brilliant Sanity with their third studio Album, Family of Aliens. Known for their smart lyrics, carefree guitar work and earworm-ready melodies, Family of Aliens finds them adding electronic shades to their sound. Limited edition red vinyl LP, standard black vinyl LP and CD on Moshi Moshi.
Limited Vinyl LP £18.99 MOSHILP85X
Limited edition, red coloured vinyl LP on Moshi Moshi.
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- Coloured vinyl
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CD £9.99 MOSHICD85
CD on Moshi Moshi.
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Vinyl LP £19.99 MOSHILP85
Black vinyl LP on Moshi Moshi.
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When I went to see Teleman live last year I was most surprised to find out that they didn't have Janet Street Porter on vocals. Their singer Thomas Sanders has the exact same tone to his voice as that lady and it's just one of the many reasons I quite like Teleman. Unlike a lot of things around today these are nice, neat haired (except for the drummer) young men making nice songs for nice people.
I was well impressed by their previous album 'Brilliant Sanity' and this initially is more of the same - a bit heavier on the synth and kraut influences perhaps. The opening title track is as good as anything off 'Brilliant Sanity' and a pretty smart way to open things up. I'm spending the first half of the record wondering why we haven't been playing this in the office - the fact that it has no sax solos could be a potential issue. I think they are being perkier here and going for the real pop moves and perhaps it means something is lost along the way. It's definitely over synthed - you have to have pretty sensitive ears to hear a guitar. 'Song For A Seagull' is a bit of a worry - a sort of big 80s Aha ballad and one of those potential 'jump the shark' tunes in that it opens up the possibility that Teleman won't always be good. I shuddered helplessly at the vocodered vocals of 'Submarine Life' and the question of why is floating through my mind. The thing is, the track itself is lovely. It would have been lovelier without the vocoder....but the arpeggiated synths in the middle section are still rather great.
My conclusion is that Teleman are having a go at commercialising their sound here. It's heading way into ...and beyond... Metronomy levels of pop confection and suffers from serial overscrubbing. Their melodies are still interesting but there's a lack of the rhythmic cool and detachment of previous records and sounds at times like they are trying too hard. It's pretty enough at times... I think I want more listens.
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