Mystery Jets have determinedly ploughed the indiepop furrow for many years now, consistently churning Jets
out above-average tunes, resolutely unbuffeted by stylistic and generic developments elsewhere.
Phrases like ‘well-crafted’ and ‘accomplished songwriting’ float
around the band’s music, yet they’ve never really
engaged any other emotion than transient happines born of good fun – you’d dance to them at a festival but the music would languish unplayed at home.
This fourth album was recorded in Texas, but musically it’s
very close to home.
Title track ‘Radlands’ briefly suggests otherwise – quiet, considered and far away, this isn’t the Mystery Jets we know.
But then: a key change, a burst of bright indie-melody, a hooky vocal,
and it’s business as usual. Jets
‘Had Me At Hello’ follows up with some stomping glam-rock, and barring briefly intriguing departures for ‘Roses’
and the earlyRadiohead stylings of ‘Lost In Austin’, it’s more of the
same from Mystery Jets.Jets
Only Damon Albarn. Only he could create an album as self-interesting and openly obscure as
one about Dr John Dee – an Elizabethan mathematician, polymath and advisor to the Queen, born 1527.Jets
Only Albarn could make it into an operatic production (his second) and
present it to the English National Opera for this
summer’s Cultural Olympiad. Only Albarn could get an 18-track record of choral singing,
medieval instruments and a whole load of “hey nonny nonny” released by a major record label.
Only Damon Albarn, because, like it or not, with his eclectic (often) genius and prolific output has come total carte blanche.
Great for him, not so great for us.
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