But this music is smooth and silky and could sit in some mid-range R&B playlist but also quite comfortably on that of a borderline indie would-be musonaut like myself. A continuum of Soul II Soul and Sade and The XX and contemplative yet celebratory mood music. I get a slight whiff of Brit School, but I feel there's enough space in the music for me to ignore it. And there's a healthy dose of lysergic acid tweak that knocks the basslines slightly out of tune and plays wit the noises in the corner of my eyes.
I was watching Channel 4's How Clubbing Changed The World last night and it got me thinking how the mass consumption of Ecstasy of variable quality but similar intent by a couple of generations has fundamentally shifted British interaction with emotion and music. This is an album that moves around into a cloud of post-E club culture - "110%" particularly breathes out this gaseous goodtime, touchy-feely vibe. It slinks about in the cloud of its own making. But there is a dark patch somewhere in the cloud, a melancholic shade that gives it depth.
There is a horrific coda to this album. Two bonus acoustic tracks that contain all that is strained and terrible about music based around a "voice". X Factor emotion devoid of any meaningful musical context. Almost did enough to ruin the album for me. But the production elsewhere is so excellent that I just skip back to the beginning and go again.
Rating: Warm MDMA Continuum out of Gaseous Dark Patch