Right, let’s continue the theme of records I’m not completely bowled over by. Miaoux Miaoux’s ‘Light of the North’, whilst being somewhat removed from your regular blogging fare, has received almost unanimous support out there in recent weeks.
Me? Well, as trailed, unusually I find it in turns fantastic and at others really not very interesting at all.
The first time I listened to it all the way through only the last 3 tracks jumped out at me. So did it take that long for me to work out what was going on or was it the first album in history that had placed its 3 best tracks at the end of the record?
Second time around, unlikely as it seemed, I was starting to think it may in fact be the latter. I was surprised to feel the same way about it as I had the first time. But subsequent listens have softened that opinion somewhat.
There’s not that much that fits comfortably into what’s gone before here over the last nearly 6 years. ‘Better For Now’ may be nothing more or less than a glorious pop tune which I love to bits but it owes a lot to styles of music I don’t connect with whilst I feel similarly about ‘Singing In The Dark’ which takes something of a lead from Daft Punk.
‘Stop The Clocks’ meanwhile initially starts off almost an electronica-tinged folk lament before a synth riff suggests, rather impertinently, that you should get your dancing shoes on. Brilliant final track ‘Ribbon Falls’ meanwhile calls to mind none other than the Pet Shop Boys.
There are some tracks which clearly have their roots in “credible” indie electronica, most notably opening track ‘Sweep Clean’ which opens on a wash of electronic noise.
Buy being honest though there’s not much else on the record I like much. ‘Is It A Dream’ could be any commercial record, whilst I find the house riff of ‘Hey Sound!” a bit annoying.
That’s as much down to taste as anything as the other tracks, whilst all well executed, just don’t move me. It just covers too much ground that doesn’t appeal to me – as the early reviews suggested, hence the lateness of the review.
LOTN has been described as an out and out pop record but it more often feels like it’s a pop album aimed at indie fans, such as when Guided Voices are name checked at one point.
In the end LOTN is a rare beast for me – I really, really like half of the record but find much of the rest not to my taste at all. But when it hits the mark it does so with some panache, ultimately leaving LOTN as half a great pop record that I can like.
Get ‘Light of the North’ in all good record shops or online here.
The video for ‘Better for Now’: