By mid-2006, Architecture in Helsinki's songwriter/vocalist Cameron Bird had departed from inner city Melbourne and landed in Brooklyn whilst his bandmates kept the home fire burning in Australia.
When it came time to work on the band's third album, Places Like This, everything was different. Bird's new life in New York had a drastic effect on his songwriting, but ultimately helped produce what he considers his magnum opus.
Fizzing with electrical currents, channeling calypso rhythms and tropicalia flavors with lashings of percussion a-go-go, the songs on Places Like This pack a kaleidoscopic punch that is little short of breathtaking. Pop effervescence hasn't sounded this fresh in ages.
First single "Heart It Races" is laced with steel drums and builds through infectious pitter-pat beats, layered na na na na na vocals to hands-in-the-air dance floor breakdowns and swooshy, glittering rushes. "Hold Music" is fifty different flavors in one, loopy guitars, cowbell percussion, rude keyboard stabs and a beat that seems to have sparks flying off it. "Feather In A Baseball Cap" is even more alarmingly brilliant, the music sounding like it exists in a zero-gravity chamber while Bird's vocal tries to keep things earthed. And "Like It or Not"...well, you get the idea.
If Places Like This doesn't rouse your pulse, do check it, because you may very well be dead.
The band commissioned in-demand UK illustrator Will Sweeney for the album's incredible artwork -- the intricacies and mayhem of which perfectly complement the music within.
Too much is right on the third album from this Aussie (not Finnish) sextet... Architecture in Helsinki is a joyous example of eclecticism at its best.
We dare you not to toe-tap along
1Red Turned White (2:46)
2Heart It Races (3:15)
3Hold Music (3:54)
4Feather In A Baseball Cap (2:27)
6Like It Or Not (3:02)
8Lazy (Lazy) (2:55)
9Nothing's Wrong (3:23)
10Same Old Innocence (3:30)