Clinic – Bubblegum (Domino) 04/10/2010

October 24, 2010 by  

Clinic have described their new album as a change in direction, musically at least. Album opener, “I’m Aware” sets the scene for an altogether different aural experience to previous offerings, and with its strong bass line and heavy use of strings. It is almost as if you have stepped back three or four years to when the synth pop revival was peaking, and this album certainly provides refreshment from more manufactured sounds of the moment.

Title track, “Bubblegum”, is a multitude of sounds that build up a crescendo making it clear why this was chose as the lead track. The album itself has a very chilled-out vibe, with the kind of songs you’d expect to be used on the trendy television shows of the moment. This is the band whose music was featured in a Levi’s Jeans commercial, so its clear to many people that Clinic have the kind of eclectic appeal that the mainstream bands so often lack. “Baby”, with the prominent organ sounds and breathy vocals, is reminiscent of Thom Yorke and this is mirrored in a few other tracks.

Constantly changing pace, Bubblegum as an album ensures that you’re kept listening. Its one of those albums that should be listened to in the order it was intended, rather than played randomly. “Milk and Honey” is delivered with grit and is heavily layered to create a building of musical ecstasy. This track is followed by the downright bizarre “Radiostory” which is a spoken story of fantasy including a meal of “Yorkshire gammon and sweet potato mash”.

“Orangutan” closes the album perfectly as a loud, anthemic track which you will have in your head all day. A short album, but by today’s standards that doesn’t mean a lot. Rather a succinct album than one padded out with fillers, and succinct is certainly what Clinic have mastered here.

After thirteen years together, Clinic have produced their best album to date. Bubblegum is a catalogue of laid back, synth goodness for our generation

[rating:4]


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