Hearts Hearts - Goods Gods

by Ljubinko Rating:8 Release Date:2018-04-20
Hearts Hearts - Goods Gods
Hearts Hearts - Goods Gods

On paper, or on screen, whichever, the concept these Austrian guys are playing with sounds great - you take disparate musical units, put them together and try to make a duality out of seemingly non-compatible singularities. Philosophy pop? Hearts Hearts and Goods Gods? The title of the album seems to fit the concept too.

Could be, if it works, but it can turn into a total flop and those intellectual concoctions PR people often come up with. According to the story, after their debut album Youth, two members of the band prepared two sound bites that were to serve as a basis for a new song. The same song. They sent them to the singer, who was to make it into a tune. The problem was they were based on completely different musical premises. The singer still tried to make it one and the same, so he did, and that is the opener here “Phantom/Island”.

Strangely enough, it works. And no, it doesn’t sound like a progressive rock jerk-off it might have turned into, but actually something much more complicated. And listenable.

There’s always a danger when you try to introduce new rules to any pop song, which itself should abide by some strict rules - a good melody, a logical rhythm that should be pleasing to the ear in a relatively brief timeframe. I don’t know, maybe these guys had the privilege to be truly weaned on that delicious Viennese ‘Sachertorte’ cake, but they are able to play that dichotomy that could have really burned them to their advantage.

Most of the songs here owe something to early stages of Cabaret Voltaire/Human League, with doses of Andy Partridge's pop sensibilities passed through the filter of neighbouring Germans Notwist, and French electro-poppers Phoenix. Only that the duality Hearts Hearts try to play on, give them their own voice.

It all works, whether it is “Phantom/Island,” the song that started this whole idea, “to have/to be” or “Sugar/Money”, or actually any of the eleven tracks here that play on that more sombre side of electronic pop, where beats play a support role and melody is at the forefront, that tracks like “Imagine/Many Lives” exemplify.

In essence, Goods Gods is a successful experiment that doesn’t sound like one. And it shouldn’t.

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