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Architecture In Helsinki - Places Like This - Indie Electro Synth Rock - 180 Grm LP

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Architecture In Helsinki - Places Like This

Label: Polyvinyl Record Company – PRC-139-1
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
180g vinyl.
has inner lyric sleeve
Country: US
Released: 2007
Genre: Pop, Rock
Style: Indie Rock


A1 Red Turned White
Baritone Saxophone – Tim Stocker
Sampler [2 Note Apocalyptic Swamp Axe] – Lee Sargent 2:46

A2 Heart It Races
Steel Drums [Steel Pans] – Patrick Davis 3:14

A3 Hold Music
Alto Saxophone – Dale Packard
Baritone Saxophone – Tim Stocker
Trumpet – Indra Adams 3:54

A4 Feather In A Baseball Cap
Alto Saxophone – Dale Packard
Baritone Saxophone – Tim Stocker
Trumpet – Indra Adams 2:27

A5 Underwater 3:28

B1 Like It Or Not
Alto Saxophone – Dale Packard
Baritone Saxophone – Tim Stocker
Flute – Martin Pena
Trumpet – Indra Adams 3:01

B2 Debbie
Alto Saxophone – Dale Packard
Baritone Saxophone – Tim Stocker
Trumpet – Indra Adams 2:53

B3 Lazy (Lazy) 2:55

B4 Nothing's Wrong
Flute – Martin Pena 3:30

B5 Same Old Innocence 3:22

Companies etc
Mastered At – Sterling Sound
Published By – Sony / ATV Music Publishing
Recorded At – Staygold
Recorded At – Big Jesus Burger Studios
Recorded At – Super Melody World
Recorded At – Sheahan Drive
Recorded At – Marlborough Farms
Designed At – Big Active
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Polyvinyl Record Company
Copyright (c) – Polyvinyl Record Company
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Architecture In Helsinki

Producer – Architecture In Helsinki
Recorded By [Additional Recording Snipperts At Sheahan Drive] – Gus Franklin
Recorded By [Additional Recording Snippets At Marlborough Farms] – Gary Olson
Recorded By [Additional Recording Snippets At Super Melody World] – James Cecil
Written-By – Architecture In Helsinki, Cameron Bird

Some copies come with a loose printed credit sheet, others have that same printed credit sheet as the inner sleeve.

Places Like This was built on 24 days between October 26 2006 and Jan 5 2007 at Staygold in Brooklyn, NY, USA and BJB in Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Mastered at Sterling Sound NYC.
All songs Sony ATV Publishing.
Additional Recording Snippets at Super Melody World.

© 2007 Polyvinyl Record Company. The copyright in the sound recording is owned by Architecture in Helsinki.

Warning: Architecture in Helsinki are no longer twee. Whether this upsets you will depend on whether you like twee pop or not.

Admittedly, there are some twee moments in "Places Like This," and the whole album is colourful, sunny and catchy. But the Aussie band is rocking a more funky, rock'n'roll sound in their third album -- while it's not as winning or cohesive as their previous work, it is still entertainingly crazy and colourful electro-island-funk-rock.

It opens with what sounds like firecrackers exploding (or a keyboard dying a violent death), and segues quickly into a funky-electronic rocker ("So imagine the change/we spoke, it filled the air/so with the north-reflected southern light..."). But things really get going in the colourful calypso-pop of "Heart It Races," with its nonsensical lyrics about knotted laces and winter tans.

The songs that follow are a bit less funky -- electro/horn/dancepop, rollicking guitar melodies, strange ambient raps, and a bubbling song called "Underwater." Things get a little unhinged by the plodding, thumping "Lazy (Lazy)," but the band pulls things back together with sunny island pop of "Nothing's Wrong" and colourful rock of "The Same Old Innocence."

I can only assume that the new more electro-rocky sound is what prompted two members of the band to depart last year. While the first two albums Architecture in Helsinki made were just fun, frolicksome sunny pop, "Places Like This" explores a whole different kind of music than before -- sunny indie-rockers are woven in as well. It has some slack moments, but the overall confection is more fun than not.

It relies pretty heavily on some solid drums, colourful analog beats and glockenspiel, which can ring out in retro splendour, ripples, bubbles, dancey beats, or even blossom into a haze of psychedelic charm. There are also undercurrents of graceful guitar, and choruses of all sorts of brass just under the surface -- not to mention those great calypso drums in the second song.

I don't entirely understand what these guys are singing -- just as well, since most of what they sing is kinda nonsensical ("It's wicked where you tread/Shot an arrow in your head/Since the apple wasn't there"). But the vocals never get boring -- falsetto wails, deep croons, melodramatic pronouncements, and indie-girl/boy duets.

the overall album is a fun, rollicking vacation in the sun -- very charming, and very different

The group takes a huge step forward in their sound on "Places Like This," no doubt in adjustment to the loss of two members. The sound is clear, it's more rock and less pop. That's not such a bad thing, however, as Architecture in Helsinki's crazy approach to making music is actually more suited to rock music than twee any day! The result is something that feels fresh and unexplored. Of course, the band still has a very improvisational sound. Lyrics are carelessly flung at the microphone and out of your speakers, layers upon layers of scattered guitars and keyboards rarely bond into a cohesive sound, but it all feels raw and exciting!

"Red Turned White" starts the album off with exactly that! Cameron Bird doesn't hesitate at delivering the vocals, clearly saying "I just don't give a f***" without ever actually saying it. "Debbie" and "Hold Music" take this and run with it, the latter being very reminiscent of Fred Schneider and the B-52s. It's actually pretty stifling to hear Architecture in Helsinki playing stuff that is this harsh, this in-your-face, and if you don't like it right off the bat, you may not like it at all.

Still, there are hints of the group's sugary sweet past here and there. "Heart it Races" is absolutely brilliant pop music, and one of my favorite songs of 2007! It's one of the few times on the album that Cameron tones his vocals down to blend with Jamie's, and the end result is something that's entirely endearing. If you don't smile from hearing "I bought it in a can and stirred it with my finger singing 'Boom-da-da-da-da-da-da-boom-da-da-da-da'" I'm not sure what to think of you. "Underwater" brings things to a much-needed halt midway through the album, and as its title suggests, the song has a very aquatic sound to it that really is better heard than explained.

"Places Like This" is one of those albums that needed to happen, even if it meant disappointing a few fans. Architechture in Helsinki has always been a talented group of individuals, but their music had progressed little over the course of their first two releases. "Places Like This" shows not only a gigantic step forward with their sound, but a band willing to go out on a limb and take a chance with their music rather than simply retread old paths. It is sure to alienate some of their more dedicated fans, but to those patient enough to give it a scrutinizing listen, you'll find that this band is just as carefree and insane as they've always been. "Places Like This" is more focused than "Fingers Crossed" and "In Case We Die," and in the end it winds up being a much better, more fulfilling experience.

Recommended for fans of Architecture in Helsinki and anyone willing to give schizophrenic, improvisational-esque rock music a chance.

Key Tracks:

1. "Heart It Races"
2. "Hold Music"
3. "Feather in a Baseball Cap"
4. "Debbie"
5. "Nothing's Wrong"

Architecture In Helsinki - Heart It Races

Architecture in Helsinki - Hold Music

Architecture In Helsinki - Feather In A Baseball Cap

Architecture In Helsinki - Debbie


This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 25 September, 2012.

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