Blonde Redhead’s eighth album sees them continue along the stripped down, electronic path they first set foot on with 2007’s ‘23’. Depeche Mode’s erstwhile producer mixed this record, and it shows – the music is slick and shiny, with some buzzy, prominent basslines, while Kazu Makino’s vocals slide easily over the gloss. Opener ‘Here Sometimes’ is spacious, moving into smooth, slow-paced electronica; ‘Will There Be Stars’ is a melancholy electronic lament with bright, minor synths; ‘My Plants Are Dead’ is reminiscent of ‘In Rainbows’-era Radiohead. And any feelings that this record is a little one-paced can be deflected by accepting its consistently enclosing, almost claustrophobic atmosphere, as, after forty minutes of understated beauty, ‘Penny Sparkle’ saves its best ‘till last in the the almost-epic space journey of ‘Spain’.soundtrack to a journey to an unknown destination in space.

By Chris Watkeys

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