About a month ago I made a mid-year resolution to start buying music without listening to it all on spotify or youtube first. When I was younger, before my discovery of the internet, I used to buy albums after only hearing the debut single and I absolutely loved the thrill of listening to it for the first time, knowing that I might end up not liking it. However, thanks to the (not-really-anymore) wondrous invention of spotify, recently I’ve been listening to an album numerous times before buying it, if I buy it at all.
Anyway, (back to the point, please) I stuck to my resolution and bought an album the other week after only hearing the first two singles from it. The album in question is Star of Love by Crystal Fighters, and I snapped it up after seeing the glorious pink sale sticker on it declaring that it was a mere £3.
The quintet’s first single, At Home, was exactly the sort of folk-y, catchy tune that is right up my street and I vowed to find out more about the band when I heard it. Their second single, Xtactic Truth, seemed to me to be fairly different; a lot more electronic and trance-like but I still enjoyed it, though that may just have been the Spanish accent of the singer. So, given the contrast of these two singles, I bought the album somewhat intrigued to see what I would find.
So, is it any good? Well, it’s definitely worth the small price I paid for it, but not much more. The opening track, Solar System, is a clear indicator of the rest of the album and though it’s repetitive nature might not be to everybody’s taste, I found it quite therapeutic.
The next track, their second single, is an unsurprising follow on; it has the same sort of instrumentation and feel and I really like the way they incorporated the Spanish guitar in with all the electronica.
I Do This Everyday has a much more disintegrated feel and is, like the first track, quite repetitive and there is no sign of the beloved guitar. The next song, Champion Song, is definitely a story telling track and is, again (much like this post), repetitive.
Then we come to my favourite song on the album; Plage. Here we have the return of my beloved Spanish guitar and the male singer takes the lead. This track has a much more traditional structure and a pretty tune (and an even prettier accent); making it a winner in my book.
The next track sees a return to the electronic, repetitive nature of much of the album. Then comes their deceiving first single, At Home, which is a lovely almost-folk track with a nice mix of electric and acoustic instruments. The final four tracks are much the same as the beginning of the album; electronic, repetitive and disintegrating towards the end.
“So, oh great fountain of musical wisdom” I hear you crying, “should I buy the damn thing?”. Honestly, if I had heard this album before buying it, I wouldn’t have. But I don’t regret my purchase and it is a good example of how electronic music is making its way to the forefront, and these guys are particularly interesting in their ability to blend acoustic instruments and soft voices with gritty, electronic accompaniment. Overall, it’s a good album, but only buy it if it’s on sale.
best track: Plage
worst track: I Love London