“Summer 08,” Metronomy
British electronic band Metronomy takes a step back to go forward on its slyly conceived fifth album, evoking its earlier, quirkier work. Even at its moodiest, this is a deliriously inventive and often whimsical dance record. Joseph Mount writes, performs, and produces, infusing his slightly bent electropop with melody and intricate rhythms. “Old Skool,” makes for a triumphant mashup of disco, hip-hop, and Talking Heads-like playfulness, featuring Mix Master Mike scratching till it bleeds. “16 Beat,” about an obsession with a drum machine, puts the beat back into beatific: a gloriously blissful celebration of the groove. Contemporary blue-eyed funk often seems mannered, but Mount gets it right with “Miami Logic, an elastic update of a classic ’80s groove and a slippery “My House” (oh, those basslines). Most songs, including the spacious “Night Owl” and a pulsing duet with Robyn, “Hang Me Out to Dry,” have a laconic wit and bemused tone that never slips into smirky irony. It adds up to kinetic and infectious club music, just in time for summer.
ESSENTIAL “Old Skool”Ken Capobianco can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.