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Graffiti6, Colours
Capitol Records, Jan. 24

02/09/12
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



Jamie Liddell may have opened the door for ’60s soul-pop to be electronically exploited, but this UK duo blow it off the hinges with this, their first full-length. Things start off inauspiciously with “Stone in My Heart,” which only goes so far as to evoke Gorillaz with a little soul, but soon enough you’re immersed in a sea of psychedelic asphalt rebirth so authentic, so purely retro, it makes Gnarls Barkley look like some guys who just heard their first O’Jays album. One of the better moments is the deep-reverb dub vocal on “This Man,” whose swirly chill-tempo alt-hip-hop beat is colorful enough to stand on its own, but “Free” is just unbelievable, sounding like it could only have come from an elite team of Warner Bros. hacks trying to steal the Billboard spotlight from “Love Train” in 1972. Also includes one of the most unwelcome ’70s-elevator-music earworms of the year in the Guess Who-ish “Annie You Save Me,” followed sequentially by the Smokey-Robinson-vs.-Gnarls-ish “Stare Into the Sun.” Have I ever left it simply at “wow” before? Because, wow. A —Eric W. Saeger






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