Album Review: Metronomy – Metronomy Forever

Metronomy - Metronomy Forever Artwork

English electronica band Metronomy just released their sixth studio album, Metronomy Forever offering an eclectic palette of grungy guitar rock, unexpected hits and eerie synth episodes. As a follow up from their 10th anniversary edition Nights Out, Forever is also punctuated by purely-instrumental cuts such as ‘Insecure’ and ‘Forever Is A Long Time’. Fans are sure to be caught off guard by the structure on this 17-track masterpiece as we see catchy anthems sandwiched between ambient soundscapes.

Opening with ‘Wedding’, the listener is intrigued by psychedelic wedding bells and organ-like synth chords, a theme which singer/producer Joseph Mount later returns to in the conclusive ‘Wedding Bells’ track (“Yeah I hear wedding bells / But they’re not for you / They’re for your best friend / And my best friend”). But the album really kicks off with ‘Whitsand Bay’, a South-East Cornwall coastal spot where he goes “to find some peace.” “And she keeps on touching me / And everyone looks at me / And everyone talks,” continues the rocky bassline and distorted chords backed lyrics, uncoiling itself into a funky electronic moment. It’s a catchy track with a heavyweight 80s feel, definitely worth a listen. Similar indie inflections can be overheard in ‘Insecurity’ alongside Nirvana style undertones.

Signature synth pop and new wave are the main component. Yet Metronomy shows how far they are willing to push the boat out genre-hopping every 30 seconds on each track. Then there’s the mysterious soundscapes – ‘Insecurity’, ‘Lying Low’, ‘Driving’, to name a few – which act as a mediator to balance all of this, serving as a sort of interlude between the main tracks, the ones that will warrant repetitive listens in your playlist. ‘Walking in the Dark’, meanwhile, is a light funky number, likewise with ‘Lying Low’ which gives off club vibes. ‘Miracle Rooftop’ also falls under the same umbrella whilst closely resembling ‘Boy Racers’ from Metronomy’s 2014 album ‘Love Letters’.

The albums centrepiece is ‘Salted Caramel Ice Cream’ showcasing Brighton’s Metronomy at their energetic, upbeat best. It could be a modern alternative to Lipps Inc’s Funkytown, with a substantially similar synth sequence. It’s silly, playful and danceable with mindless lyrics musing about his love. “She’s the squash in my water / She’s so posh, mate, I called her ma’am”, gushes Mount. ‘Sex Emoji’ is a similar number worth a listen.

“What is love, what is hurt, what is she saying?”ponders Mount in ‘Insecurity’.“Just holler if you need me / ‘Cause I couldn’t stand the pain / Of seeing you hurt again, boy”, sings Mount about his post-break up unrest in ‘Walking in the Dark’ before the heartbreak stage is dwelled on in the emo-ballad ‘Upset My Girlfriend’. ‘Lately’ tells us of the unrequited love, “She could be the greatest / I know she’d be the greatest / If only she was open to see me”, before resuming to an upbeat feel good section. The ever changing moods and genres of this album potentially is Mount’s personal reflection of the highs and lows of love, love being the thematic thread that brings the lyrical tracks together, providing a much needed sense of cohesiveness amidst the offbeat structure.

As the album closes with ‘Ur Mixtape’, Metronomy has taken us on an emotional rollercoaster journey, shifting between genres extreme highs and lows alongside a breadth of musical diversity showcasing the English group at their best. Forever is an eclectic work with some of the most promising hits heard since the epicness of ‘The English Riviera’ and ‘Love Letters’, but as the title assures us fans, there’s no sign of Metronomy going anywhere just yet.


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