Monday, 1 June 2009

Love Technology Review

Great cover, isn't it? This year also seems to be an awesome year when it comes to new albums. Phoenix, now Heads We Dance, then The Bloody Beetroots, Boys Noize, perhaps Daft Punk and god knows who else.

Anyway, onto this one.

HWD is one of the regulars here, why? Because its mix of synthpop, nu-rave and Kraftwerk make it extremely pleasent to listen to. And this album is the culmination of it.

Even though 6 of the 11 songs have been previously released, they suffered modifications, big or small.

We start off with The Human Touch, their second single. I thought at first "Hum, this isn't a good album begginer." Neither did HWD think.
So what they did was create a small 40 second intro to the song, full of sci-fi and futuristic-ness. A preview of whats to come.
The single version doesn't suffer any modification, only the intro has been added.
Full of vocoded vocals, a funky bassline and lots of synths, this track is a better begginer than i thought.
Rating: 7.5/10

Quick mix onto Love In The Digital Age. After having the single version for so long, it was quite a shock when i heard this the first time.
The track has been mostly modified, especially in the instrumental. Its become rockier, with less beats, and to be honest, less magic.
I've grown to it, but the single version simply can't be beat. A dissapointment.
Rating: 5.5/10

A bunch of people mumbling end LITDA and begin When The Sirens Sound.
Released only 2 weeks ago, the intro reminds me of Daft Punk's Revolution 909, and that where the similarities end.
With an aweosme synth-line and those vocals from Pete and Becky can't be beat. Also a small vocoder comes along.
The beat is very catchy, and its very danceable. The breakdown towards the end is fantastic aswell. My favourite from the album... just.
Rating: 8/10

Computer Love is a track from Kraftwerk, which HWD covered for Buffetlibre's project Rewind 2. It got more than a million downloads, so they decided to put it in the album.
They added a little 56k modem logging on to the Internet sound as an intro and at 15 seconds we start. A great transition, btw.
The track is probably the simplest to sing, and its a great tribute to their influences, Kraftwerk.
Big thumbs up for the bassline, and drummer Becky, who has a voice that should be better used by the band, and its a shame she only sings half this song and only does small lines for the others.
Rating: 7.5/10

UBIK is the first of the new tracks on the album. Ths track sounds like HWD have been scattering around Kraftwerk's unreleased bin and found this, at least until the classical breakdown.
A good use of the synths and the chorus section is awesome, although confusing.(seriously, what does "ubikuedest" mean? Or UBIK, by that matter?)
Anyway, this is a great track that talks about modern life and childhood dreams of technology.
Edit: I have been informed that the main chorus line is "ubiquitous". Thanks to Night Shade and Conor for figuring out.
Rating: 7/10

Straight onto The Gold City, another newbie. This one starts immediately, no mumbo-jumbo, no rodeos, just goes.
This one is kinda like a description of Las Vegas and the discovery of it by someone.
Pete with a great singing here and the chorus is amazing.
The instrumental is good aswell, especially the more high-pitched synth.
Rating: 6.5/10

Low-Carbon Life follows. This one is the chill track of the album. Very well suceeded indeed. A simple beat and a synth make this instrumental quite simple. The vocals talk about an ecological battle to make things "greener". I don't know if HWD are very "green" people, but this track sure makes them look like it.
Great relaxation track, nice to calm down from the more upbeat tracks.
Rating: 7/10

Mix onto My Heart Is Set On You. This one has been posted here, but thats the single version. The album version is a tad more rockier, hardly noticable though.
Everything else remains untouched and remains as one of my favourites from this album.
Rating: 8/10

You Are Never Alone With Model 21 follows. The B-side for The Human Touch remains completely untouched.
The high-pitched synth which tries to emulate a guitar is amazing, the vocals are well made, and its nice and poppy. Nothing else needed to say.
Rating: 7/10

Dial 481 is a small 1 minute interlude, but oneof the best interludes i've heard. Kinda like The Human Touch intro, only longer. And thats cool.
Rating: 6/10

Onto the grand finale, Love Technology, the title track. I couldn't wait for this one in my first listen, it had to be good. And it is.
The strings, the vocals, the beat... everything about this track is great and its an awesome finisher to an absolutely amazing album.
Rating: 8/10

Pros: Fantastic, reminds me of the 80's
Cons: Apart from the fact that Work It Out with Little Boots should've been there, none.

Overall, it is the culmination of what a 3 people group from Leeds can do in their home studio, with a bunch of synths and keyboards. This is an album that brings you back to the 80's, but at the same time doesn't let you dive into that decade too much, bringing in modern touches. It is the culmination of the human touch that Pete, Yoni and Becky did to their intruments.

Final rating:

Heads We Dance - The Human Touch [right click to download]

Heads We Dance - UBIK [right click to download]


Running for cover underground,


Joe said...


Conor said...

He's saying "ubiquitous" in UBIK. It means to be everywhere all at once

Alex said...

Fixed. Thanks.