Like the majority of synthpop bands throughout the course of human history, Decades borrow more than their fair share from Depeche Mode, but they do it with such effortless style that you can't fault them for it. These are lovely songs, familiar in structure but adorned with all sorts of flourishes to set them apart, like the distorted layers of singing on opening track "If" and the hints of guitar twang on "Undercover." "Motorcycle Ride" is a bit too slick for some tastes, with cotton-candy vocals reminiscent of Spandau Ballet set to a dance beat, but "Summer Monkeys" is delightfully wistful and understated. Perhaps this album's most affecting track, though, is "Rat Star," which delivers the whimsy promised by its odd title. Like the best of Decades' work, it's bittersweet—with just enough sadness in the vocals to temper the perky drum beats and keyboard lines—and somehow comforting. Closing track "Black Humour" is darker in tone but similarly soothing, starting off as moody darkwave before trailing off into warm, sleepy ambience as the album draws to a close. While Decades don't break new ground with this album, you get the feeling that it's not because they lack the talent. Instead, they simply don't need to. They've crafted a perfect gem of a synthpop album, here, and that's more than enough.
Check out Decades online at www.decades-music.de.
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