It’s an admirable approach for a chart-topping act on the comeback trail, though it’s complicated somewhat by sub-par material.
The overall sound of the record will hit a listener right in the face. In contrast to recent albums like 2005's Bleed Like Me and 2001's BeautifulGarbage, Not Your Kind Of People is a dark, dingy, noisy record – noisier even than their grungy 1996 self-titled debut. The album kicks off with a one-two punch of synth-laced electro-rock in the form of Automatic Systematic Habit and Big Bright World, but even romantic numbers like the title track arrive caked in grime.
It's an admirable approach for a chart-topping act on the comeback trail, though it's complicated somewhat by sub-par material. There's only a handful of moments that really equal the aching beauty and sumptuous violence of the band's earlier work. Singalong lead single Blood For Poppies is a standout, as is the pulsing, swirling I Hate Love. The anthemic Control (“I confess I've lost control,” Shirley Manson crows in desperation) is the only true triumph of the set.
Not Your Kind Of People, however, doesn't really sound like a record designed to prove anything. It's a band finding their feet. So, even when Manson stumbles with an awkward lyric or a song seems a little rough, it's easy to forgive them. If nothing else, their next album should be killer.
Album Of The Week goes to Jamie xx's In Colour, Ben Lee has a new release and SOAK releases her debut in This Week's Releases.