“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”