Album Review: De Lux – Generation


de-lux-generation_072015_popmonitorReleased23rd June 2015

Words: Nick Jacques

Imagine Duran Duran and the Human League sipping cocktails and they’re being served by David Byrne (Talking Heads) and we’re some way to knowing where the LA duo De Lux are coming from. Generation is their second album and it’s arrived in fine fashion. Dripping with looping synths, shiny 80’s style guitar riffs and strident beats which makes for an intelligent and engaging album.

It’s probably fair to say that De Lux aren’t creating anything particularly original here – they’re influences are heavily in-debt to those from their generation back in 80’s/early 90s but what they manage to do so convincingly on Generation is take a well-used template of musical era and give it their own fresh spin on it.

Standout track is Oh Man The Future, it’s a peach of a track. It consists of blissed-out electronica and combines well with a strong catchy bass riff and in-turn allows vocals to sprout out notions and existentialist views on the state of the world, science and human nature. It’s impressive stuff and recalls more recent contemporaries Future Islands with a pleasing nod to the Talking Heads on this track too.

Opening tracks LA Threshold and 30 both possess hypnotic synth/electro beats with looping effects and ice-cool bass riffs which keep you engaged and seem to have a type of swagger which you can feel comfortable with. These tracks have a feel of exploration about them and the duo do a pleasing job in letting the music do the talking without hamming it up with any unnecessary theatrics, which I think is always good to hear. This is a duo who want to entertain and engage their audience, whilst at the same time not blow their own trumpet. They’re aware of their strengths and play to them well.

Center Of L.U.B. recalls early Human League (Dare era) minus the super shiny 80’s guitar riff but it plays out well nevertheless with synths covering every inch of the track. While Simba Simba Simba is another 80’s infused track with hints of Duran Duran and Talking Heads hovering over it, whilst managing to make sure they put their own stamp on proceedings.

No One Really Cares Who You Are introduces the listener to a softer side of De Lux. The jangly guitar remains and so do the synths but they seem to have a consistent knack of knowing how to make sure the production quality of the electro/synths sinks into your vortex and you end up getting lost in the moment.

And just when you think they’ve run out of tricks and they’ve packed their suitcases – the final track, Someday Now, picks up the pace with a kind of Daft Punk-ish twang and it’s accompanied with violins which swing in and out, and all other sorts of synth trickery. It does feel like they have exhausted themselves by the end of the album but it finishes on a strong note which suggests that this band are going to continue to try and produce fun and durable electronica with a conscience.

Watch the video for Oh Man The Future here:



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