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The Ruby Suns
- Christopher

The poorly produced synth sounds and strangely embarrassing lyrics will turn most off.

Andrew McDonald

Jan 30th 2013 | Label: ABC/Universal
A breakup record is a fragile thing. It can be done painfully beautifully (Beck's Sea Change) and just painfully (Ben Lee's messy Awake Is The New Sleep). But when the partner was in your band – what do you do then? Well, you could release Christopher. Could. Not should.

“I never want to live in real life” vocalist and dumpee Ryan McPhun pines in In Real Life and this is as clear as day as the singer constructs this cheesy fictitious children's world around his voice. None of the record's lyrics or emotional points ring true enough, or mature enough, to sympathise with – especially when hidden by amateurish electronica and cheap drum pads. The standardised synthetic glow covering each song doesn't do well to separate the songs – rather than create a cohesive, conceptual effort (which is possible to infer with a very keen ear), we find a generic collection of artificial reverb-driven pop tunes that sounds much longer than they are.

The Ruby Suns' 2008 Sea Lion album was an infectious and charming indie pop album that seduced many. With subsequent releases, Christopher being the most obvious, this may have been a flash in the pan. This record is not actively without charm, it just cannot lure life from itself. The poorly produced synth sounds and strangely embarrassing lyrics will turn most off. There's the odd piece of well-produced synth pop here, but it's hardly worth digging to find.

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