If this year’ s summer fashion must have is the seventies’ mum denim skirt, then Serotonin must surely be in the running to be its aural equivalent with numbers such as Lady Gray and Melt bouncing along faster than the pigtailed love child of Gilbert O’Sullivan and the Alessi Brothers in a sport’s bra.
Produced by Chris Thomas (Sex Pistols, Beatles, Elton John) and on the Rough Trade Label, the Mystery Jets’ third album, with its lush and layered production and cheesy saccharine pop chords is so seventies that you can almost smell the cork wedges and hear the static of crimplene flares. Indeed, it is impossible to listen to such tracks as Flash a Hungry Smile and Serotonin without hearing a snatch of Fleetwood Mac here or a chord or two of the Moody Blues there and all the tracks feel, even on first listen, as though the band had merely recorded the songs already playing in your head.
And it is this familiarity, along with the one-size fits all high tempo mirror-ball production that are the album’s downfall; there are plenty of hooks, plenty of witty lyrics and catchy choruses but nothing to really emotionally engage the listener. The seventies weren’t all cheesecloth blouses and fondue parties; we had the three day week, rubbish on the streets and dodgy dealings by the Liberal party and yet all these shades of grey are missing here so that the album ultimately seems less indie pop than indie froth.