The Go Find - Everybody Knows it's Gonna Happen Only Not Tonight

by Rich Morris Rating:6 Release Date:2010-02-22

The title and opening track on this third album from the alter-ego of singer/songwriter Dieter Sermeus ploughs the same furrow of bittersweet acoustic lullabies mixed with harder-edged electronic pop as previous releases Miami (2004) and Stars on the Wall. As before, the guitars and vocals are folky and sometimes country-twinged while the synths either prettify the musical setting or serve to create a sense of a darker emotional undertow beneath the often placid tunes.

It's an undeniably attractive musical confection. 'Love Will Break Us Up' might be about the death throes of a relationship, but it has none of the tumult and useless rage of Joy Division's similarly titled 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' while managing to retain that song's sense of wonder. This song and the title track both conjure seductive images of drowsy nature and walks through frosty, beautiful landscapes. It's easy to drift off when listening to The Go Find, in the same way you can when listening to the ambient jazz-folk of John Martyn or the fragile electronica of Mum.

Unfortunately, Sermeus doesn't really make this dream-state work to his advantage. Too many songs on Everybody Knows… are merely pleasant and this becomes the album's major weakness in its midsection. 'Neighbourhood' and 'One Hundred Percent' are sweet-hearted acoustic strum-alongs which drift past without disturbing the listener's reverie. Sermeus' voice also lacks real power or emotional grit, existing as an easily ignorable smudge in the background of most tracks. Some songs, like the stately 'Stay' (which again recalls a Joy Division track, this time the masterful, eroded synth balladry of 'Decades') could soar if only Sermeus would put some welly into lines like "Oh, I'm done with you/ I wish that was true". Introducing a female singer with an equally timid vocal style on 'One Hundred Percent' doesn't do the song any favours.

Thankfully, the album recovers its mojo towards the end. The final three tracks, 'Running Mates', 'Just a Common Love' and 'Heart of Gold' each have something to catch the attention, whether it's a perky melody or some lovely twinkling synth work. 'Heart of Gold', in particular, is a thing of wonder; its sleepy-eyed, hushed tribute to late-period Roxy Music is the album's best moment and serves to weave a aura of reverence rather than just mild distraction. Overall, Everybody Knows… is a good album, but it could seriously have benefitted from some rough moments to help the smooth ones shine.

Richard Morris

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