Friday, June 12, 2009

Telepathe - Dance Mother

I'd say I get the most fickle when it comes to electronic music. There are groups such as Ladytron that I really like, but I really can't stand a lot of the vapid, soulless shit that people with easy access to laptops have been cranking out for the better part of this decade. I don't know, I guess I just don't really feel much connection to the "New York lifestyle" so many people at my college have come to idealize- the non-stop party life, the deep immersion in the world of fashion, irony, etc. Summed up in a word, but explained by others way better than myself = hipsterism.

So that's one reason why Telepathe's debut album does not connect with me on any level. It's just some cold shit. I mean, it'll probably get them a few features written about them here and there, but I really can't see anybody being WAY into this album a year from now, or it even popping up on any year end lists. It's completely disposable. At best, there are two or three good songs on this album, and wouldn't you know it, they're right next to each other in the tracklist ("Can't Stand It" and "Michael"). The rest of the album I truly have trouble remembering.

Despite being produced by TV On The Radio studio wizard/guitarist David Sitek, Dance Mother is a tinny sounding affair, far from the lush production Sitek has lavished upon his own band. Pitchfork pointed it out in their review of this album, and I actually agree with them, that Sitek kind of deserves a lot of the credit for this album, more so than the duo that make up Telepathe. Melissa Livaudais and Busy Ganges just sort of chirp their way throughout the album, quite amatuerishly at best. Sometimes being way out of tune can be endearing (see: Los Campesinos), but in this case it's just obnoxious. And don't get me started on the song "Devil's Trident," which almost dips into Mars Volta levels of WTF-ness with the lyrics.

Oddly enough, for a group that is being marketed as electronic, the songs where they sound like a full band come off the best- the two that I mentioned above. "Can't Stand It" sounds like it could have been a B-side from either Ladytron's Witching Hour or Asobi Seksu's Citrus, with its swirling synths and surprisingly nimble vocal hooks.

In the end though, those two songs aren't enough to save this album from being just...blah. Another entry into an increasingly oversaturated scene. Being friends with TV On The Radio can only get you so far, I guess.