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Metronomy - The English Riviera LP
2020 repress. Metronomy present their third album The English Riviera. The follow up to 2008's critically-acclaimed Nights Out, The English Riviera is a sonic progression of epic proportions and affirms Metronomy front man and producer, Joseph Mount, as a rare British talent. Since Nights Out, the band have swollen to a four-piece with new members Anna Prior on drums, Gbenga Adelekan on bass, original member Oscar Cash on keys/sax, and Joe himself on vocals, keys and guitar. This expansion of personnel is reflective of a new record that is mapped by vast soundscapes, incredible depth and warmth, and big pop hooks. Part love letter to the area of Devon coast Mount grew up in and part concept album about his own semi-fictionalized vision of The English Riviera, the tone for the album is set by the opening sounds of seagulls, distant waves and a Music Hall string quartet. However, any notion of whimsy is swiftly dispelled, as the seismic bass line of "We Broke Free" shudders and ushers in waves of layered guitars and synths. Having produced and remixed everyone from Roots Manuva to Kate Nash an album from Nicola Roberts, this is the first Metronomy album that Mount has taken out of his bedroom and recorded in a proper studio. The results are telling. Characterized throughout with a sense of warmth and richness, The English Riviera is in parts reminiscent of seminal 1970s West Coast studio albums from the likes of Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles, but due to Mount's studio wizardry, the record sounds vibrant and entirely of its time. Few other albums will so successfully transcend such a plethora of influences and ideas and form such a coherent body of work.