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Music Go Music - Impressions (Thousand Tongues)

by Lawrence Poole Rating:6 Release Date:2014-08-18

Lazy, glib and utterly obvious it may be, but it remains unavoidable: Angelenos are so indebted to the wondrous musical cannon of ABBA and ELO it wouldn't be suprising to hear messers Bjorn, Benny and Lynne have set up a repayment plan targeted at music from LA. 

This Los Angeles trio's latest effort positively drips with the same pristine production, whip-tight basslines, and layer after layer of super pop melodies. It's been five years in the making too. The follow-up to their well-received 2009 debut Expressions, there's been no musical shift with their sophomore offering.

Opener and comeback single 'Love is All I Can Hear' starts things off in a slightly sombre mood, before kicking in with those lush vocals from Gala Bell. 'Inferno', however, is more energetic, rustling at a nice pace, with Bell once again waltzing vocals across a tidy guitar riff with more than a nod to 'Voulez-Vous'.

'People All Over the Word' is more mid-paced, and worse for it, plodding along without making any noticeable impact on this listener, despite a pleasing Stevie Nicks-esque vocal delivery. 'Tell Me How It Feels' is better, mind - moody and mysterious with a pulsating guitar lick. 'Nite After Nite' treds a similar but more low key tone, with Gala again stepping things up for a memorable chorus, which is worthy of repeat listens.

Anybody expecting 'Tuff Turf' to regale listeners with their escapades on the mean streets of Compton will be sadly disappointed, but the track, like its successor, 'I'll Never Get Over You', has its merit. The latter is filled with yearning heartache and despair, while closer 'Shine Down Forever' has a more spiritual feel, dancing on the back of a crystal clear keyboard riff before the most Abba of any of the vocals are delivered in a relaxed and melancholy manner.

It has taken them half a decade to produce and sadly is not an improvement on their debut offering, but there are a handful of sweet moments, which make this record worth persisting with.

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