UK dream-popsters The Clientele released their third album, God Save the Clientele
, May 8th on Merge Records. The album features more of the mellow, atmospheric indie pop tunes that the Clientele have made their name on. Their 2005 sophomore record, Strange Geometry
, was a sleeper hit among the indie set and was among my top 20 of that year. The new album is not as initially catchy as its immediate predecessor, but is another fine set of tunes that blossom nicely after a few listens. Opener "Here Comes the Phantom" is a breezy summertime head-bobber and definite album highlight. When frontman Alasdair MacLean sings, "My heart is playing like a violin" in his honest and breathy voice overtop tasteful string figures, it is a near perfect pop moment. Upbeat lead single, "Bookshop Casanova" is another highlight that also benefits from Louis Philippe's masterful string arrangements. Two of the best songs here are incredibly lush and beautifully produced ballads: "The Queen of Seville" features gentle acoustic guitar plucking, piano twinkles, and brilliant pedal steel work while "Isn't Life Strange" employs swirling, delicate strings and one of the album's best vocal melodies. This album just sounds
great-- it is elaborately orchestrated but never comes across as busy or too ornate.
The Clientele craft mood music, in the best possible sense of the term. Their music evokes visions of rainy days, early summer romances, and lazy weekends. A number of tunes here are great mix CD fodder, but the entire album is consistently strong and is a undeniably cohesive piece of music. These songs have a sort of understated charm that is unique to this band. You can put on a Clientele album and just chill out and relax without interacting with it substantially, or you can listen intently to uncover the subtle intricacies. Basically, whatever level of effort you wanna put into the band's music will yield a corresponding reward. At this point, I still prefer Strange Geometry
by a touch, but this new one has really started growing on me and has provided the perfect soundtrack for my recovery from this long weekend.
The Clientele - "Here Comes the Phantom"
MP3: The Clientele - "Bookshop Casanova"
(link via Toolshed Media)Stream the entire album here
.Buy the album here
Bonus: Here's a highlight from their 2005 album, Strange Geometry
, and one of favorite songs of that year-->
The Clientele - "(I Can't Seem to) Make You Mine"
Labels: the clientele