Joe Goddard’s career has seen him at the forefront of forward-thinking electronic music. He’s entertained audiences as the vocalist and synth master of Hot Chip, while simultaneously releasing music as one-half of The 2 Bears. His new solo album is a homage to electronic music’s past. More than any of his previous solo excursions, Electric Lines holds its own and displays the sort of artistic knowledge one would expect from a man who has co-created not one, but two successful dance music acts.
Certainly, the synthpop groove of ‘Ordinary Madness’ with SLO’s vocal is a worthy intro to Goddard’s intention. The looped vocal of ‘Lose Your Love’ and the distinctive Leftfield vibe are reminiscent of the 90s. The melody of bleeping synth sounds also brings vintage video games to mind. We’re certainly in a nostalgic world with this record already.
It all feels too focused on nostalgic precision rather than a record for the modern world.
‘Home’ delves into the time capsule of 70s disco to the extent you can almost see the glitterball. After becoming moderately excited upon seeing the song title ‘Children’, it was a shame to discover that it’s not a nod to Robert Miles’ 90s classic. Mind you, messing with a timeless hit is a risky business so maybe it’s a good thing that it turns out to be a pretty decent original.
Elsewhere, ‘Truth Is Light’ is the hidden gem on this record. The percussion and delicate interspersion of high-pitched digital instruments on a warm synthetic bass are magical. However, from here, this is when I start to lose my interest. It all feels too focused on nostalgic precision rather than a record for the modern world. Only ‘Music Is The Answer’ really addresses this problem in the latter half of the record. But this is only a minor point given the idea behind this album.
Joe Goddard has created a mixed bag of electronic compositions with Electric Lines. Some will take people down memory lane and others will leave them underwhelmed.
By Will Hunt
A nostalgic paean of praise for electronic music
A mixed bag of compositions
‘Truth is Light’ a highlight
|1. Ordinary Madness (feat. SLO)|
|2. Lose Your Love|
|5. Human Heart|
|7. Truth Is Light|
|8. Nothing Moves|
|9. Electric Lines|
|10. Music Is The Answer (feat. SLO)|
|11. Funk You Up|
|13. Lose Your Love (Full Length)|