The Legends - Nightshift - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

The Legends - Nightshift

by Gerry Hathaway Rating:7 Release Date:2017-04-21

The line between kitsch and homage is an extremely fine one, especially with regard to electronic groups trying to successfully pull off something genuinely “Retro”. When it works it's brilliant (think Mitch Murder’s score for the campy short film Kung Fury). In the case of Nightshift, the latest album from electro-funk outfit The Legends, the kitsch is fully embraced – and the clichés come one after the other in rapid fire fashion.

One of the weaknesses plaguing Nightshift is how it’s at times indistinguishable from the vapid manufactured music you’d hear in a top 40 EDM club (see In Love With Myself, Say What, or the nauseating cheapness of Cocaine). This makes the lean 45-minute record feel longer than it is while you wonder if the next track will be an improvement over the previous one. The biggest offender is the vocals, which are so drenched in auto-tune and vocoder that it becomes tiresome by the third song.

Despite this, there are still a few cool tunes scattered across the record’s 16 tracks. Diamonds feels appropriately period with its driving synth bass sequence. Automan is a brooding, pulsating number that wouldn’t sound out of place on a horror score. Album highlight Midnight Sun lends some credence to the anachronism that The Legends are likely hoping comes across. However, it’s a case of too little too late – as there is literally nothing on display that gives the record a sense of identity.

Ultimately, Nightshift fails to make a lasting impression by embracing gimmick over reverence. This one can be filed under mindless fun.

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