Capitalizing on the modern revival of the British Invasion, Metronomy has synthesized a haunting electropop gem in Love Letters. The group’s fourth installment is rooted in drum machine beats and interlaced with floating synthesizers and backing vocals.
Lead single “I’m Aquarius” builds slowly from simple beats and Joseph Mount’s steady vocals to something larger that incorporates strategically repetitive melodies and cascades of keys and organ. Darker tracks such as “Call Me” and “Monstrous” place the listener at the heart of an electronic cathedral where “everything and nothing matters.” This idea and the central focus on the evanescent nature of love further develop throughout the album on which memories become as real and present as day-to-day life.
The title track begins uniformly, with wavering horns that explode into an upbeat piano progression. Here, gospel-inspired gang vocals call upon the likes of Fitz and the Tantrums. While “Love Letters” and “The Upsetter” make direct allusions to physical communication, the album recognizes the constraints of verbal expression and uses various methods to convey emotion.
With less emphasis on electronic beats and synthesized production, “Month of Sundays” is a more organic interlude and a hopeful rekindling of affection. Its complementary guitars, melody, and tonality draw parallels to the work of The Shins. “Boy Racers” shows the pervasive influence of electronic music across all genres–Little Dragon would be supportive of the simplicity that Metronomy achieves in this instrumental track.
“The Most Immaculate Haircut” illustrates an intoxication of passion: “I get this feeling in my bones / sometimes its like / my legs might fall away / A shooting pain runs down my left-hand side and I / I think of you / oh hush now.” With assertions that “it gets better,” the final track “Never Wanted” rounds out the album in a spiritual and loose way that contrasts the more defined and constructed tracks preceding it.
While slightly monotonous at times, Metronomy has crafted an album that buys into the avid consumption of experimental music among younger generations. The heavily electronic influence of Love Letters and the references to the necessity of communication hint at the shifts in human interactions arising from impersonality behind technology and digital screens.
Article by Conner Smith