Review Summary: Matt and Kim kinda create their best record yet….cool beans.
In the journey of accepting a band like Matt and Kim, one must accept the fact that this is a band that takes no fucking risks
. I mean, really, this band is just constantly releasing the same goddamn homogenous indie pop records with those buzzy synthesizers and overzealous vocals. They have the easiest job in the world, in which they produce records that are quirky and cheerful(i.e. they be themselves). That's not to say they haven't improved over the years; their debut was their most "raw" release, combining frenetic vocals over the most simple synth-punk instrumentation imaginable. Grand
took that basic backdrop and added production, layered vocals and more detailed melodies. The record managed to retain the youthfulness of their debut, with tracks like "Daylight" succumbing the listener with its own twisted cuteness. It was a kicka
is a kicka
ss record. Instrumentally, it's incredible. They up the synths to brilliant effect, creating little symphonies of happiness on tracks such as "Red Paint". Kim doesn't exactly outdo previous works or reach new percussive heights, but her punchy beats keep sentimental tracks such as "Good for Great" upbeat and enjoyable. Matt's vocals are also more or less on par with Grand
, if not tamed a bit on songs such as "Northeast". Occasionally his vocal lines tend to blend in with the instrumentation, leaving the record a little bland and failing to retain some of the idiosyncratic deliveries that made their last LP such a great record. However it's ultimately no different than their other records, with a few knockout songs and the rest consistently Matt and Kim-sounding. "Wires" shows the band reaching a peak of musicianship, with Matt's optimistic crooning echoing over warm synths and welcoming beats. It's their most fervently produced record yet, in which their rather stale style of music is revamped through detailed sound production.
Many could complain about Matt and Kim's inability to do anything new or interesting on this record. Those people should not listen to Matt and Kim. Their music will always be heart-warming in the sense that they will never change and go inaccessible on us. They appease our guilty desires of not wanting the wheel reinvented. Their albums are the musical equivalent of romantic comedy films and if Grand
was their "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", Sidewalks
is most definitely their "Love Actually". And if you can embrace such generic feel-good art such as the previously mentioned, you'll love this album. If you like Matt and Kim, you'll love this album.