The fourth Metronomy album proves disappointing.
Release date – 10th March 2014
This is Metronomy’s fourth album, however it doesn’t seem like they’ve progressed much over the years. But then, Love Letters was never going to sound like anything other than the indie-electronic music that Metronomy have been making since their 2006 debut, Pip Paine (Pay The £5000 You Owe). That isn’t to say that there aren’t good songs on the album; Metronomy have always managed to get a few catchy choruses onto their albums.
The eponymous fourth track, ‘Love Letters’, is definitely the highlight in this sense. Sounding like a classic four-to-the-floor northern soul number, this song contrasts sharply to the other songs in the best possible way, finishing with an unexpected banger of a trumpet solo. One let-down for this first portion of the album, though, is the lyrics. Lines like “bits of yellow paper from you to me” don’t seem that bad on paper, but in the context of the song ‘Love Letters’ it just seems unimaginative.
Unfortunately, the rest of the record is underwhelming after this. Although track 5, ‘Month Of Sundays’, has a cool spacy kraut rock vibe to bring down the intensity, and the next, ‘Boy Racers’ is a by no means bad, funky, dancey instrumental, there is nothing much to write home about. The final track, ‘Never Wanted’ is boring, aimless and self-pitying, and was such a chore to listen to that it left a sour taste at the end of the album, fully living up to its name.
The main bone to pick with this album, however, is Joseph Mount’s singing. His high falsetto is vaguely pathetic and just doesn’t sound nice. He criminally overuses this sort of singing, something which I would maintain about Metronomy’s previous work too, and in my view it has a detrimental effect on the music. This, combined with other detractors, means that despite the hopeful positives of Love Letters, it remains a middle of the road electronic indie album.