Metronomy’s The English Riviera leads next British Wave

Daniel Telek, Editor-in-Chief

In 1964, the Beatles crossed the Atlantic and changed music forever. 1975, Queen arrives in the Americas and changes the pop music landscape. 1994, the Thom Yorke led Radiohead slaps American pop music in the face and changes the definition of pop music.

Now in 2012, Joseph Mount and Metronomy look to become the next British band to make it big in the states and capture America’s imagination of what pop music could be.

Metronomy is a British electronic band founded by Mount (composer, singer, keyboards and guitar) in 1999. The band features Anna Prior (drums and vocals), Oscar Cash (saxophone, backing vocals, guitars and keyboards) and Gbenga Adelekan (bass guitar and vocals).

Originally Metronomy featured Mount, Cash, and former member Gabriel Stebbing; they focused on remixes on their first album Pip Paine (Pay the €5000 You Owe). Even into their respectable second album Nights Out, they still were mainly into remixes, but featured prominent vocal singles like “A Thing for Me” and “Radio Ladio”, the latter was featured on the NBA 2k10 soundtrack.

In May 2009, Stebbing left the band with Mount and Cash’s blessing and in came Prior and Adelekan. These four continued to play live shows throughout Europe; finally in April of 2011 they released “The English Rivera” under the Because Music label.

This recent effort from the London-based quartet is their strongest and most diverse to date. Every positive aspect and step forward made by Metronomy is summed up in the second track “We Broke Free.” An incredible bass line provided by Adelekan, the cherubic softness of Mount’s vocals, the extreme proficiency of Prior’s drumming, and Cash’s masterful manipulation of sounds with keyboards.

The best step forward for Metronomy as a whole is that the band seems to have a singular vision that fits them. While Pip Paine and Nights Out were fine works in their own right and had some fantastic songs, the albums always seemed to lack a focus that seemed to hinder the band. The difference between The English Riviera and the previous two efforts is while they’ve always had stand out songs the whole album was never cohesive. The English Riviera has now rectified that issue with every song on the album having its own flavor to set itself apart.

Every time the track number changes on the record, the listener is rewarded with something interesting and unique. Whether it be the seductive bass line of “She Wants” or the addictive rhythm of “The Look”, the listener is entranced by the body of work created Mount and company.

You cannot just blow through this album and expect it to truly stick with you. To appreciate all the nuances and excellent craftsmanship that is put into this masterful album, repeated listenings are required.

The English Riviera is nothing short of a masterpiece. If there could be a “perfect” album, then this would come pretty close. One would only be causing themselves a disservice by not listening to Metronomy.