the party soundtrack for the anti-party ennui generation...
Emily Gosling

14:16 9th September 2008

The notion of a ‘difficult’ second album is a languorous and lazy label.  If ‘difficult’ means managing to procure influences seeming to range from an Eastern European funeral paean (see ‘Nights Out Intro’); to textured art-pop Talking Heads awkwardness; to girly sugar pop dialogue (see ‘A Thing For Me’) to….well, to go on would be a create an entire review from a meaningless list.  Meaningless, because, once again Metronomy manage to make a record that takes the sum of its parts and apply some sort of magical and hidden algebraic theorem whereby they turn into one, solid golden chunk of pop alchemy.  Taking the sublime first album ‘Pip Paine (Pay £5000 You Owe)’ , characterised with its inanely infectious, indie-tinged electronica, ‘Nights Out’ bounds forward with more adventurous arrangements and heavier reliance on Joseph Mount’s plaintive, simplistic vocals.

Once again, this album is a fluid movement whereby each song stands alone as a shimmering piece of glorious yet insidious under-the-skin insistence; yet fuses into a record that meanders seamlessly throughout its twelve-tracks.  Veering from the toyshop to the fairground to the dance-floor and back, firmly to the lap-top, an album of such intricacy has managed to evade the signs of something so obviously delicately pored over for rickets-inducing periods of time. ‘My Heart Rate Rapid’ is a thrilling coronary joy; ‘Heartbreaker’ is a tawdry, shimmering romance of its own, and the synth armoury of ‘Radio Ladio’ is perhaps the most glowing surmise of Metronomy, combining a theme of hapless love set to a backdrop of itching synths, faint hand-claps and a chorus that would adapt as well to the playbus as the dancefloor.  Which, by the way, is a very good thing.

Lounging disquietedly beneath the tentative serotonin production-line of avant-pop guitar and awkward dance glitches is a sentiment more ‘This Charming Man’ than the flippant, cheery dance of the this-gurning-man of dance’s recent vacuous neon face.   Joseph Mount’s vocals are, if unintentionally, the perfect vehicle for what was apparently a concept album about going out in fact of being, well, a bit shit; and girls either breaking your heart, or whinging about someone who’s broken theirs.

‘Nights Out’ is the party soundtrack for the anti-party ennui generation – transmuting wry boredom through a wonky and jaded kaleidoscope and into a new lease of life for even the most nocturnal weary. If this is, as it claims, and album abut the disappointments and shrugged shoulders of yet another bright lights, big nightclubs disappointment and girls’ fickle hearts, it’s one on the scale of a regenerative and healing catharsis.  You see, ‘Nights Out’, through its synapse-tingling, barbed wire candy synth provides the credit-crunch refuting antidote: if this record doesn’t want to make the boys tread the dancefloor with revitalised vigour and the girls step up right next to them, then nothing will.

More about: