Australia - Full Moon 106 - 05/23/05
Architecture in Helsinki
In Case We Die
They're a clever bunch, those eight lads and lasses in Architecture in Helsinki. They can play lots of instruments and can write catchy ditties that get played on the radio whilst maintaining their idiosyncratic charm. Live they are lots of fun - I strongly recommend you check them out.
And their new album? Well, to an extent everything that is great about AiH is here: the catchy hooks, the atmosphere of childlike abandon, the lovely synth noises. Singles "Do the Whirlwind" and "It'5" are present and correct and spinning around my head like candied carousels. Lovely stuff.
But it's not a great album to my ears. Why? It's just so studied. The energy and spontaneity of their live shows doesn't really come across so well on record, and all the carefully constructed songs sound a little lifeless and twee as a result.
There are plenty of things to enjoy about this album, but it sounds too much like the soundtrack to a musical made by precocious children - especially the maddening "Cemetery" - to warrant repeat listens. Fun, yes, but also liable to rot your ears.
Copyright © 2005 Tim Clarke