Austra – Feel It Break

Reservations aside, this is a fine electronic pop album that is good to get reflective to.

 

http://www.dominorecordco.com http://www.munichrecords.com http://www.austramusic.com


A very good, somewhat serious disc: I mention serious because it’s being pitched as a sleazy synth pop record, which it isn’t: (the bumpf that I got with the record mentions Soft Cell as a reference: well I’m sorry, but the person who writes the promo must have cloth ears). In terms of dirt and grime, Feel It Break is nowhere near the bedsit sleaze of Non Stop Erotic Cabaret. It’s more Vince Clarke or Eurythmics than Almond, or D.A.F. There’s a soulful side to the music, something that can make you think that everything’s a little bit “nice”… not that the idea of “nice” is a bad thing in any way, but it’s not wilful or unpredictable stuff.


Apparently the singer comes from a classical background, (opera), which I guess lends everything an academic, slightly structured air. This can be an advantage when there’s something daring or different to be attempted, as on the ethereal Lose It and Hate Crime (when the simple poppy structures are offset by great vocal displays) but this whiff of academe reinforces the feeling that this isn’t a record that really lets its hair down: (you get a full dose of this approach with the last track The Beast). Some tracks really should either go up a gear or go on a bit longer. The lass also delivers her lines a bit like Bjork does, sometimes a bit like Annie Lennox or even Nico did; as a sort of measured, warm, lecture. Her vox are also set up to sound a wee bit inhuman: and as such all the results remind one of the things Liz Fraser used to do. This can work brilliantly when the mood is a bit sinister, or operatic: such as Beat and the Pulse, or the brilliant Spellwork, or The Villain, but it can make other tracks sound a wee bit anaemic if there’s not much else going on. 


Reservations aside, this is a fine electronic pop album that is good to get reflective to.