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Album Review: Mystery Jets - Radlands

24 April 2012 | 10:29 am | Rob Townsend

While their new stuff is perhaps a little less polished... the Brits haven’t forgotten how to pen a catchy-as-hell pop chorus

More Mystery Jets More Mystery Jets

Eel Pie Island's favourite sons are back with their fourth long-player and have taken a different approach this time round. Radlands is the first Mystery Jets record not entirely conceived and recorded in London. While some of it was put together in the London borough of Streatham, the majority was created in Austin, Texas and was co-produced by Mystery Jets and Dan Carey (Hot Chip, Franz Ferdinand, Emiliana Torrini).

“I've heard there's a place where we go to die, It's a terribly overrated horseshit-shaped hole in the sky,” begins the album, and one wonders whether Mystery Jets have lost the lust for life that they'd previously displayed with the likes of Twenty One. Well, while their new stuff is perhaps a little less polished than their second and third albums and has a more acoustic leaning, thankfully the Brits haven't forgotten how to pen a catchy-as-hell pop chorus. The “woah-oh's” of Someone Purer and the “Sha-la-la's” on irrepressibly perky indie-pop romp, Greatest Hits are proof of this.

Meanwhile, a gospel choir turns up on Sister Everett and Sophie Rose makes an appearance with guitarist William Rees on Take Me Where The Roses Grow. As duets go, it's no Young Love, but it's a pretty enough diversion. Elsewhere, the influence of location really shines through, with the chorus of You Had Me At Hello sounding like it could slot into a 1970s American rock radio playlist and Lost In Austin starting similarly before turning into a post-grunge monster.

Perhaps it doesn't demand the immediate attention of its predecessors, but the slow-burning Radlands shows musical growth and is another pleasingly eclectic showing from one of the UK's most consistently inventive bands.

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