Klaxons - Love Frequency
by Matt Hacke
Even with Myths Of The Near Future, Klaxons operated in a precarious position. The trademarks of the band’s sound - the shrieking falsetto, the impenetrable lyrics - are incredibly contentious constructions. Especially in the aftermath of the second album, Surfing The Void, the jury was well and truly out on whether Klaxons were effective or ridiculous.
Love Frequency is defined by a clear mission to assimilate the band’s unique but dubious sound into the 2014 market – a conscious effort at re-branding, whilst still holding onto the foundations of previous success. This synthesis, for the most part, is actually rather successful. However, one wonders if this decent third effort will ever permeate into the mainstream it seems geared towards.
Love Frequency wears its numerous influences on its sleeve, making for a rather kaleidoscopic record. With a cabal of electro-glitterati employed in the record’s germination, it’s unsurprising to find certain footprints. For example, Children Of The Sun, a crunked-up rewrite of the Empire theme, clearly bears the mark of producer, Tom Rowlands (The Chemical Brothers). Elsewhere, lead single There Is No Other Time is indebted to the mainstream groove revival spearheaded by Daft Punk (Random Access Memories) last year – augmented with a retro doo-wop-esque “Ba-ba-ba-ba-ooo”. Love Frequency, therefore, is an intensely savvy record, oozing a plethora of fashionable influences. This album is by far the most diverse record Klaxons have produced as of yet, and pleasingly this eclecticism is matched by mostly effective deployment of these numerous new ideas.
This checklist cosmopolitanism makes Love Frequency a bit of a selection box, and I can’t imagine many listeners would like every single track on the album for this reason. Personally, I think the thud of Show Me A Miracle is a bit of a stinker, as the dubstep reminiscent percussion of the track doesn’t save it from falling into parody. This is one of the few points in Klaxons’ career when I’ve thought the falsetto sounds just too silly to merit its inclusion.
Yet for the most part, the album is solid, making for an effective mélange of their nu-rave sound with a series of new influences. Listening to it a few times, I can’t help feel despondent at the conveyor belt like production of EDM influences that dominate the overall timbre of Love Frequency, as they seem like a macabre reminder that nu-rave is long dead. There is no Atlantis To The Interzone on this album, the closest being opener, New Reality - and that is a real shame. Still, Klaxons deserve applause for leaving the wreckage of 2007 relatively unscathed (the same can’t be said for Hadouken!), displaying enough versatility to morph their potentially dated-ness into something sleek and mainstream-geared. Love Frequency is no triumphant return, but it sees the band come in from the cold – offering an inkling of hope that there might be more to come.