Chairlift - Something - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Chairlift - Something

by Rich Morris Rating:6 Release Date:2012-01-23

Listen to 'Sidewalk Safari', the opening track on Something, and you might think you've stumbled upon 2012's greatest band in double quick time. Ping pong rhythms, monolithic John Carpenter synths, female singer giving it the full Siouxsie Sioux, effortless confidence oozing out of the speakers. Surely it doesn't get any better than this? Well, actually, no it doesn't...

As fantastic an opener as 'Sidewalk Safari' is, there's plenty on this band's second album to explain why Chairlift failed to repeat the success of MGMT with their similar electro-hippy sound. Even having their music on an ad for the iPod Nano didn't send them stellar. That said, if it's uncomplicated 80s-worshipping thrills you want, Something definitely packs 'em in. 'Wrong Opinion' is like every tick and stylistic flourish from Ladyhawke's first album, condensed into one very likeable song, while 'I Belong in Your Arms' looks to Fleetwood Mac and Cyndi Lauper to create an addictive sugar rush.

As the record winds on, however, you find the music becoming slighter, the tunes sticking less and less. It not so much that Something stops being good, so much as it just stops being interesting. Add to this Caroline Polachek's tendency to over-sing, almost breaking into a yodel on 'Ghost Tonight' when she be hanging back, all cool like, and you've an unfortunately large number of songs which aren't begging to be played again anytime soon.

The subtext to this second album is that Chairlift are now a duo following the departure of Polachek's boyfriend Aaron Pfenning and a protracted legal wrangle over the use of the band name. Look for this in the lyrics, however, and you won't find much, save for some deliciously pointed snarling on 'Sidewalk Safari': "Not too good with guns/Poison seems old-fashioned... but I do know how to drive a car faster than a man can run."

Mostly, though, it seems the remaining members decided success is the best form of revenge and set their eyes on making the kind of primary colour pop which eluded them on their debut. That's fine, and the best of Something hits the spot effortlessly, but the creeping blandness elsewhere is something to be fought against, not eased into.

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet
Related Articles
Chairlift - Something - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab
Chairlift - Moth
  • 01/08/2016
  • By Jeff Penczak