The Music The Music Review

BBC Review

Rock music you want to leap about and dance to minus any cynical crossover...

Daniel Pike 2002

The Music are four lads with an average age so low you have to duck. Amazingly, they have spliced together a mature, yet energetic collection of songs that are so slick they might be considered more indigenous to a fifth studio album than to this, their debut.

First off, ten tracks on an album that spans over sixty minutes. Do the maths. If you have to use your fingers prepare to save a suitably low number to wave in the direction of three-minute snappy pop.

The Music rock out, yet, despite the Led Zep riffing, most stark on "The Truth Is No Words", and heavy guitar layering, they resist the temptation to fully regress into "progressive".

This is due to their use of beats and song structuring that borrows significantly from dance rather than classic rock. The finished product does at times resemble one of those b-side re-mixes of straightforward indie tracks by reputedly edgy but essentially populist techno outfits.

However, it contains none of the embarrassing connotations. With song titles that include "The Dance" and "Disco", it is far from surprising that the dance influence is deep set. Indeed, it appears natural and pivotal at the point of song incarnation much as it was for The Stone Roses and Primal Scream.

The Music's mature sound can in part be attributed to the production of Jim Abiss. He has constructed similarly polished efforts for DJ Shadow and Bjork. It is this smoothness that perhaps supplies the album's only major downside.

In touring with the likes of Oasis and The Charlatans, The Music have rapidly acquired a fierce live reputation. The studio stifling of their live energy and raw edge seems a senseless waste.

Guitarist Adam Nutter deserves respect both for his endurance of the inevitable crank "are you A. Nutter?" phone calls, and for developing a classic rock guitar sound that still sounds fresh and vital in the 21st century.

The band boasts a rhythm section that punches and lifts Robert Harvey's vocals in their vibrant, shrieking celebration of joyous exuberance. The cry rings out "hey little lady, see what you're missing..." Well, woman, man and beast - if you miss out you have only yourselves to blame.

Rock music you want to leap about and dance to minus any cynical crossover contrivance. But what about our shoes? Who will gaze at them now?

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