Monday, 23rd October 2017. 12:24:06am ET
Reviews CD Reviews Synthpop, New Wave Agonised by Love- Lovesick Society


ARTIST: Agonised by Love

ALBUM: Lovesick Society

LABEL: Alfa Matrix

REVIEWER: Matthew J.

DATE: 9-10-08

Agonised by Love- Lovesick Society

Polish act Agonised by Love's first full-length for the Alfa Matrix label is a solid but mostly unexceptional synthpop offering, combining the romantic moods and themes of the classics with the techno influences and club-friendliness of groups like Covenant and Assemblage 23. Lead singer Rafal Tomaszczuk's vocal work is a large part of the band's appeal, providing a touching tenderness to moody ballads like "Colours of the Galaxy" and a hint of melancholy to faster pieces like the trance-influenced "Control You." Multiple layers of his voice also add an infectious quality to the more mechanical clank of "My Way" (not to be confused with the Frank Sinatra song, or for that matter, the Sid Vicious cover). On the other hand, Tomaszuk's voice isn't quite up to the task on "Magnolia," a gritty ode to unfulfilled longing. While his voice manages to achieve the song's requisite intensity, the melodies are sort of all over the place, darting this way and that in unexpected directions, and while in some situations that can make a piece more interesting and experimental, on a pop album like this one it just seems jarring. On the other hand, the band's occasional incorporation of live instruments and hints of classical music works quite well; guitars loops on "Southern Sun" fill out the sound without diminishing from the song's dance floor appeal, and the dissonant piano intro of "Ultraviolet Duna" adds an avant-garde modernist sensibility that highlights the band's intelligence without distracting from the theatrical pop energy of the song proper. Agonised by Love aren't on quite the same level as De/Vision or Depeche Mode yet, but they're on the way; if this album isn't a great one, it's certainly a good one at the very least, well-suited for moving bodies on the dance floor or singing along to with friends.

Learn more about Agonised by Love at www.agonisedbylove.art.pl.


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