The Ruby Suns: Christopher (Sub Pop)

 |   |  1 min read

The Ruby Suns: Starlight
The Ruby Suns: Christopher (Sub Pop)

While in some parts of the Unknown Mortal Orchestra album they embrace a whiff of gentle psychedelia (and has no one noticed McCartney melodies in their mix?), this is a territory which the Ruby Suns have long found seductive and enchanting.

And over their first two albums they certainly managed to couple an assured sense of pop with seductive and often enchanting songs. There were diminished results on their third, Fight Softly.

This time out however, despite the electro-punctations on songs like the overly busy Rush, they just sound bloodless and more seduced by the technology itself than using it to seduce.

Many of these anodyne songs have neither grip nor traction and although we concede attractive surfaces the impression is of only surface in many places. They come like a rather watery Blue Nile on shapeless songs like Jump In where again electro-splash and wobble fill some of the gaps. Starlight takes you back to the Eighties but in neither an ironic nor inspired way.

Singer/writer Ryan McFun increasingly broadcasts in a very narrow melodic range and while that weightlessness is undeniably pleasant but on song after song it starts to lack substance. By the final song when he sings "every day is the same" you get an overwhelming sense of a room chock full of ennui, albeit with nice wallpaper.

In good news there are a few fine songs here -- Desert of Pop about meeting Swedish pop sensation Robyn starts things in fine electro-pop fashion, there's a pretty song in Futon Fortress but it seems suffocated by its reliance on synths and so lost in this all-so-similar company  -- and doubtless that might be enough to contain their very loyal fan base.

But as one who previously counted himself in that group I'm starting to wonder about renewing my subscription. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Nick Drake: Family Tree (Island/Universal)

Nick Drake: Family Tree (Island/Universal)

There is a very good case to be made that Nick Drake (1948-74) was like a Robert Johnson of British folk, leaving behind a small but compelling body of songs, and few clues to the nature of his... > Read more

Various Artists: John Cale, Conflict and Catalysis (Big Beat/Border)

Various Artists: John Cale, Conflict and Catalysis (Big Beat/Border)

Although his former comrade in the Velvet Underground, Lou Reed, gets the column inches and slavish devotion, a serious career consideration would say John Cale has made the more interesting music... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE NINETIES: A tele-doco series on Prime

THE NINETIES: A tele-doco series on Prime

There are a couple of glaring ironies about this weak doco. The first is that it takes its subtitle “Isn't it ironic?” from the terrible Alanis Morissette song Ironic in which... > Read more

RIENZI IN ROME: The man, the madness and the music

RIENZI IN ROME: The man, the madness and the music

Rome hadn't seen anything like him before, this strutting little fanatic who was so gifted with words he could move a crowd to mass action. A born propagandist, he was often invited into the... > Read more