Review Summary: ...for fans of Owl City...
Don't get me wrong I don't hate Leighton Antelman. What I do hate however, is what he is trying to do as The Cinema, a two piece side project alongside producer Matt Malpass. "Talking In Your Sleep" is a flaccid, electronic pop album that has very few redeeming qualities.
This is the duo's sophomore release, which follows their 2011 effort “My Blood is Full of Airplanes” which is nowhere near as bad. The pair were smart and taken some of the good things about Antelman's main project (a successful emo rock band called Lydia) and experimented with them by adding in hints of synth and drum machine samples. Perhaps after finding their feet on the first release The Cinema decided to go all out and cram the new album with everything terrible about modern pop music.
The annoying thing is that Antelman can sing very well. I like his voice as frontman of Lydia where the music suits his voice perfectly. The "beats" created by Malpass however don't suit his calming voice anywhere near as much and so the vocals are choked by Ke$ha-esque autotune in order to make it work (see Track 3: Crazy).
There are some songs on the album which hit the post such as “Punchline”, which starts with an alright beat and guest vocals from Mindy White which are charming like Taylor Swift and until about 1 minute in, it’s a good, solid pop-song, quickly ruined by the most irritating auto tuned “woah-oh”, which spoils the entire song. The last track on the album “Going Down” serves its purpose well as a non-offensive electro-pop song and the vocals aren’t horrific at any point. The lyrics are clichéd and simple (“If you’re going down, I’m going down"), but that’s fine as the song is quite catchy. Another track I almost enjoyed is “Turn It On” which has an enjoyable R&B influenced chorus, although like the rest of the album the song is riddled with stupid synth effects like a child is playing on a cheap keyboard in the background.
I have had to resist the temptation to write a track-by-track review since every track has something fresh and awful to comment on like the Metro Station beat in “She Knows” or the robotic auto tune in “Call It In The Air”. Admittedly, some of the chorus’ on the album are catchy and enjoyable but are let down by cringey auto tune and vocal effects, sub-par synth playing and lazy song writing.