Day 1 Mercury Prize: Metronomy – The English Riviera

5 Aug

Like I said yesterday, I am going to do a review of each of the nominees for the coveted Mercury prize. To start off, I have Metronomy’s new album called The English Riviera.

Following up to their 2008 success Nights Out, Metronomy have followed up with a more mellow album. The last one was almost a theme for having a bad night out, this one is about taking you to a location. The English Riviera. This is chosen due to Joseph Mount’s (frontman) hometown, around Devon England, with other band members being around similar scenery when they were growing up, like Brighton.

If there’s one thing that you can be sure that works on this album is the fact that it truly ‘takes’ you there and captures the scenery of the English seaside incredibly well.

The album opens with a track sharing the same name of the album which is a 37 second intro, where you hear seagulls and other typical sounds of the seaside in England. This is when you know the style of tho album immediately.

The next two tracks ‘We Broke Free’ and ‘Everything Goes My Way’ start this LP on a smooth feeling. Vocals, are quite soft, and they’re not what you’d expect from Metronomy (yes, it’s synth but..) it’s not loud, and fast. It then breaks into a guitar at the end which brings up the volume but as soon as it’s getting louder we mellow down with the beautiful ‘Everything Goes My Way’ which unlike the rest of the tracks, has a woman singing vocals mainly (Joseph Mount comes in later). We have a catchy drumbeat and quite a cute sound going on. This revisits the theme of the album presented in the first intro.

‘The Look’ is the song that was released before the album came out and if you haven’t heard yet I can say that we have the soft vocals presented on this record throughout and a very simple rythym but one that you easily get used to. Unfortunately, the song is ruined at the end by a ripping synth solo, which I was not a fan of at all.

‘She Wants’ follows on and sort of presents a darker tone, more The Kills, then Metronomy, though not quite as dark as that. Afterwards, we have ‘Trouble’ which you could easily hear at any more up-market cafe.

The next song ‘The Bay’ is undoubtedly the catchiest on the album and has the most catchy chorus of the album with Joseph Mount’s soft voice in your head for the next week. Then you’ll hear it on the Radio next week and it’ll be stuck in your head again.

I think i’ve written a bit too much now, the next four tracks lead to the end of the record, getting progressively slower, and get back to that cafe feel. One thing that does need a mention though is that the last two tracks are TOO LONG.

I’m perfectly fine if they win but I don’t think that they are my favourites to win. The album doesn’t blow me away but surprisingly it is on top for the NME poll as to who should win (by a lot). The album has a constant theme, with a very smooth album that has a perfect pace, I’d recommend it for a CD collection when the price is right, but not a stand-out for the mercury.

Score: 8/10

2 Responses to “Day 1 Mercury Prize: Metronomy – The English Riviera”

  1. derek August 5, 2011 at 10:19 pm #

    I personally thought the recently released GEM from Warren Haynes would have had a chance here but got that one wrong! love the writing LA Derek

    • aculturedlad August 6, 2011 at 9:34 am #

      Thank you!

      There was a possibility there but I think the feeling would be that the album feels a bit been there, done that, if that makes any sense. I think they went with a couple more ‘fresher’ acts this year, such as Tinie Tempah and Katy B (who don’t deserve to be there) but I think if anyone is into blues guitar then they’ll love it.

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