Architecture In Helsinki: Places Like ThisMusic Reviews Architecture In Helsinki
Worlds collide gloriously on the streets of Brooklyn
Too much is just right on the third album from this Aussie (not Finnish) sextet. With singer/songwriter Cameron Bird now relocated to the great melting pot of New York City, Architecture in Helsinki is a joyous example of eclecticism at its best: Chunky funk grooves and lilting tropical rhythms enfold feverish pop tunes as burping analog synths sound an enticing note of party-hearty nostalgia. Creating a sense of barely controlled chaos by constantly shifting moods and textures, Bird and company squeeze every tasty drop from these cluttered, raucous tracks, making for an action-packed 32 minutes. Although the self-conscious embrace of visceral styles echoes such cerebral types as Talking Heads, The B-52’s and Devo, Bird’s roaring, half-drunk vocals are his own creation, suggesting a crazy ringmaster. Places Like This could easily have been a self-congratulatory exercise in cross-cultural dabbling, except for one thing: The people responsible for the wild-eyed swagger of “Lazy (Lazy)” and the Duran Duran-gone-haywire “Same Old Innocence” are clearly having a wonderful time.