Architecture In Helsinki: Places Like This

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Architecture In Helsinki: Places Like This

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.

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