Death of Lovers - The Acrobat

by Jim Harris Rating:4 Release Date:2017-11-24
Death of Lovers - The Acrobat
Death of Lovers - The Acrobat

80s electronic pop ruled the air waves, when there were air waves instead of streaming. There was usually an accompanied music video and the band called attention to themselves with big hair and dark eye makeup, and they all sang synthed-up vocals with various derivatives of some fluffy love song refrain. Who can forget such songs like ‘Hungry like the Wolf’ and ‘I Ran (So Far Away)' and other ditties like that. (Well, actually I did and had to google those, but…).

Every so often a new band comes along and tries to capture that sound and I always wonder why. I should have been suspect when this collaboration of shoegaze artists from Philadelphia featuring three members of the band, Nothing, qualified their sound on this as being able to fit on virtually any soundtrack from the 80s. However, I heard the first song, ‘Orphans of the Smog’, which conjured up more of a Joy Division/Early New Order vibe to it, and thus, I was interested.

Unfortunately Death of Lovers, with this album, The Acrobat, aren’t going in the Interpol/Joy Division direction, according to the rest of the album. Think more Flock of Seagulls and Yazz maybe. Add to this, the fact that the most interesting aspects of this album are the song titles, as the music never elevates to any level of their influences. Most of the songs are tinkly electronics swirling, synthed-up breathy vocals, and lame, wistful lyrics ("Satellite…So Bright…").

The problem with a collaboration of alt rock or shoegaze musicians who take on 80s synth pop is you may not get past sounding like a retro lounge act. Those bands, regardless, were damned talented and schooled on that sound. You can’t just automatically sound like the Cure or even Flock of Seagulls for that matter, who, for those who remember, were dressed as musical peacocks and not like a hipster band from well, Philadelphia. 80s synth pop was a phenomena of presentation, both visually and musically.

No, Death of Lovers, should really leave the 80s to the professionals and venture into a category where they can succeed. The Acrobat is not strong enough to warrant a recommendation.

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