The debut by LA four piece Electric Guest is a lesson in how to put a host of sub-three minute pop songs (one or two exceptions notwithstanding) into a 40 minute slice of fun pop that’s perfect for the summer.
While the band generally stick to three minute songs, they are by no means conventional. Opener ‘Holes’ is a slow, synthy start to the record where singer and front-man Asa Taccone gets a chance to put his vocals to the fore. In contrast the next song and lead single ‘This Head I Hold’ is pop bliss. That’s pop influenced by the Beach Boys and the Beatles, not the R&B/David Guetta pop that’s taken over the top 40.
The production by superstar desk-jokey Danger Mouse is very recognisable, with a vintage feel to the songs and that percussion sound that he likes so much. Slower, more intense songs sit buried among upbeat pop gems like ‘This Head I Hold’, ‘The Bait’ and ‘Under The Gun’.
While the album is undoubtedly pop-y, it’s not vacuous. The lyrics are often heartfelt and you get the impression that the album is a labour of love, both from the band and the producer (see here for more from Danger Mouse).
Highlights for me are ‘This Head I Hold’, ‘The Bait’ and ‘Troubleman’, a nine minute song that is effectively in three parts, showing off the various sides of the album. It’s a treat, and it’s streaming below for you to listen to.
This is an album that I’m sure you’ll enjoy and listen to plenty while the sun’s out this summer. My only reservation comes when thinking about it’s staying power: will I still want to listen to it in four months time? Or a years’ time? I guess I’ll have to get back to you.
File next to: The Drums, Black Keys, Mr Hudson & The Library
Listen to: Troubleman [Buy the album]