Review Summary: Not much love for Liquid Love
It's sometimes extremely annoying when children get hold of a loud and unavoidable toy. Like a toy hammer or a fake guitar. They make noises and undesirable vibrations that can really drive anybody insane. The same can be said of music, and in particular, the new breed of synth-pop music that is now washing up on every shore, the world over.
It seems that a lot of bands, Cut Copy, Delphic, Metronomy, Chromeo and Hot Chip are forever pedaling their own slightly different take on the synth-pop manual. Shy Child are no different, except that their previous album, Noise Won't Stop was an excellently produced and well thought out slice of sunny pulsating electronic pop music. The band itself hasn't changed so much on Liquid Love, and that in itself is the problem. The throwaway nature of the music lends itself to fun and punchy one album wonders, and at the behest of the band, the choice to mature and progress, a tactic which worked for MGMT.
But Shy Child chose to gamble and produce an identical release, only with songs less strong as on their first release - a baffling decision in anyone's book. Sure enough some tracks do still throb and bounce along with the trademark Prince-esque groove, but they lack the heart and quirky soul which made Noise Won't Stop extremely enjoyable.
Even in an environment which was completely devoid of electro-pop (which, let's not forget, is not this particular environment), this album would seem to be completely pointless, it's occasionally extremely flat and transparent, with the nonsensical lyrics becoming even more sidelined to make way for the occasional funky beat or slithery bassline.
That's not to say there aren't some fine tracks on the album, with the title track cruising into view sounding almost Fleetwood Mac - esque, before quickly winching itself into familiar groovy LCD Soundsystem / Rapture territory, a sentiment which is thoroughly carried on in the airy and bizarre Open Up The Sky. These highlights are not nearly enough to save the album from the vaults of mediocrity, though.
To compare this album to bands who have done this type of music well really shows it up, In Ghost Colours, Cut Copy's three year old classic, or MGMT's more pop orientated Oracular Spectacular. These records were empty, but stylistically they were brimming with the sheen and confidence which showed through their true 80's roots, Liquid Love isn't so much transparent, more as a non-entity in the grand scheme of electro pop, a pointless and shallow attempt to cash in on the sun-soaked craze of 80's reminiscence, one that unfortunately has probably worked too.