Tom and Alex White are The Electric Soft Parade, but the opening track on this album, the first half of a two-part title track which bookends the record, is a dour jazzy ditty. However, it’s definitely not a precursor of the challenging, adventurous record. Electro-dance-pop pieces like “Like In The Back-Seat” glide along without much problems, bringing to mind Franz Ferdinand. A lengthy and rather average Tears For Fears-ish pop tune entitled “Woken By A Kiss” does little to wake the listener up.
A lot of these songs are melodic, but often there’s just a bit extra sonic fat on some of them, especially the Floydian middle of “Misunderstanding” and the airy “Shore Song/Surfacing,” the latter’s second half recalling classic ambient Eno. One highlight is the rich but pretty “Secrets” that Elbow would do well to record at some point. The second half of the record contains more of the same, with “Cold World/Starry Night #1” consisting of oodles of pop smarts but “Come Back Inside” reeking of Parisian café-meets-Spaghetti Western elements, if such a mash-up can be conceived. Generally it is a good album, but there’s no overt need to get all riled up over The Electric Soft Parade.
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