Spector fans eagerly awaiting another album packed full of guitar pumped sing-along’s for all occasions will be disheartened to hear that the band have tried to move towards a more mature position, from where they have attempted a lighter approach to song writing with new album Moth Boys, out today via Fiction Records. What this means in practice is that this album has put more emphasis on enigmatic synths and vocals, and less on the kind of choruses which could unite a room in song, day or night.
This is particularly eminent in the Dev Hynes co-write Cocktail Party which almost belongs on a Daft Punk B-Side than a Spector album. It’s cinematic opening and jarring structure which leaps from slow atmospheric sounds to a distinguishably funky beat is certainly a step away from the stadium rock inspired music of old but whether it is a step forward is another matter. The feel of the song is captured in the album artwork which pictures a defunct Berlin nightclub. Like that venue the song undoubtedly has its moments but seems to only fit into a certain mood, time or place – none of which are the casual listeners headphones on a walk to the shops.
Another song which carries the new Joy Division/Kraftwerk fusion of sound is Decade of Decay, although this contribution holds a chorus and beat which pull you into and through to the closing notes before you know it. Hypnotic Kyoto Garden also presents a triumph for the band’s new approach to song writing. It is tender, honest, melancholic and thoroughly enjoyable.
There are moments of familiar relief amid the experimentation, with next single Bad Boyfriend providing a short blast of completely memorable lyricism, but the best of this album is seen when the band have managed to mould their new sound with the old traits. One such example is Stay High, complete with deliciously funky guitar from Jed Cullen amid a richer sound of synths and backing vocals which leaves you gasping for more – and which in truth is far more likely to fill stadiums than anything from the band’s first album Enjoy It While It Lasts.
Other strong successes are lead single All The Sad Young Men and Believer, which demand to be listened to with a sway in your hips and your arms in the air.
Moth Boys is certainly a more mature album from Spector with plenty to dance to, sing along to, and enjoy wholeheartedly. It is however, complete with a few cinematic experiments which could perhaps be shelved in future.
You can listen to All The Sad Young Men below.