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Alphabeat - This Is Alphabeat

Alphabeat, This Is Alphabeat

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

COPENHAGEN’S Alphabeat are the lead purveyors of wonky pop according to some critics. That is to say, off-kilter, joyously giddy, ’80s influenced pop songs that are easy on the ears and utterly frivolous in style.

Having enjoyed three big hits thus far, including Fascination and 10,000 Nights, they now release their debut album, This Is Alphabeat and build on the infectious nature of their songwriting. The album is timed perfectly to coincide with the warmer weather, containing an unapologetically sunshine vibe that’s derived from the likes of Yazoo, The Beatles, The B-52s and The Beach Boys.

Occasionally, the happiness becomes a little cloying – rather like over-indulging on candy. But there are plenty of gems among the 10 tracks on offer and it seems their relocation to London’s East End has done nothing to dampen their enthusiasm.

Highlights include the Footloose-style Fascination, a livewire blend of handclap beats, ’80s guitar riffs, boy-girl vocals and “woo hoo“ing that really is infectious, and 10,000 Nights, which breezes into your heart amid an unapologetically upbeat blend of polished melodies and more “woo hooing”. For all its childish playfulness, though, there’s also a cheekier, more adult sensibility in the lyrics, as evidenced by lines like “it feels like 10,000 nights of thunder when I spend just one night with you”. Hit stuff!

That same erotic undertone is evidenced in the Human League-ish Rubber Boots, which finds male singer Anders SG imploring his subject to “go put your rubber boots on” and, later, “you should wear rubber, always wear rubber”. The song itself is a little more reigned in than normal, the vocals nicely warped (or wonky), and the synth underpinning it contains a much more contemporary vibe.

The whistling that accompanies the start of Public Image gives rise to another effervescent pop gem, and another album favourite, while there’s a nice change of pace on the more love-lorn What Is Happening, which takes a darker look at romance.

Elsewhere, the ’80s sensibility feels more pronounced and a little less welcome – Go-Go, in particular, feels like a Go West/Roxette rip-off that belongs on the Pretty Woman soundtrack. While Touch Me Touching You is a little too retro and cheesy and tends to grate.

But for the most part, the highlights outweight the lowpoints to ensure that This Is Alphabeat‘s upbeat positivity eventually wins you over. You may just need to hear something a little harder straight afterwards, though, just to realign the wonkiness.

Download picks: Fascination, 10,000 Nights, Rubber Boots, Public Image, What Is Happening

Track listing:

  1. Fantastic 6
  2. Fascination
  3. 10,000 Nights
  4. Boyfriend
  5. What Is Happening
  6. Go Go
  7. Touching Me Touching You
  8. Rubber Boots
  9. Public Image
  10. Nothing But My Baby

  1. I love the album. I got it today and cant stop listening to it.
    One of my favs on there is Touching Me Touching You. It does'nt grate on me at all. I love it
    I love all tracks, least favourite being Nothing But My Baby

    beckie    Jun 2    #