reviewers have introduced you to these four girls from Brighton called
Electrelane lately, praising their talent. If their sophomore album is
undeniably charming, it is far from being essential. They might have been misled
by the sticker mentioning ten bands fond of Electrelane. First you’ve
got to get past the fact they specify in the booklet quoting Nietzsche. Don’t
they have friends to give wary advices? If you ever quote such a philosopher
just don’t mention it for everyone to read. It sounds like bragging. Apart
from this, the booklet is fine but can you trust someone named Verity Susman? I might
be too suspicious but then I’m blacklisted, right?
Power out is a
good album even though there is nothing really original in there. Every song
makes you think of another band. Yet, let’s not use the term ‘cross-over’
because if Electrelane is reminiscent of The Breeders, the Cure and Stereolab,
these influences do not really merge to create a singular style but just appear
in different songs. Above all, this kind of modern 4-track-ish sound
particularly reminds me of The Breeders’ wonderful casual come-back Title
TK which was recorded by Steve Albini as well. Do some songs (‘Birds’,
‘Take the bit between your teeth’) sound like songs on Title TK
because they share the same kind of sound or because the latter album was a
major influence? This nice sound somehow echoes The Cure circa Three Imaginary
Boys as well. Is ‘On Parade’ the best song on the album because it strangely
evokes ‘Fire in Cairo’?
other songs strongly recall Stereolab whose last album is in my humble
blacklisted opinion boring. This is particularly nice in ‘Gone under sea’
which is sung in French and in the overdriven ‘Their deed’ while it
sometimes becomes uninteresting because of a Britpop aspect (‘Love builds
up’ and ‘Only one thing is needed’).
its charming melancholy quality, the instrumental ‘You make me week at the
knees’ does not fulfil the hopes its luring title awoke regarding the
Fountains of Wayne reference.
pass the horrid ‘The Valleys’ and the grandiloquent aspect of its choir
device (which could please Marc Almond) to come to the conclusion that The
Power Out is overall a rather pleasant album doomed to future oblivion.
‘imaginary boy’ Igor
/mar 15th 2004/