Album: “Now + 4EVA”
Artist: Architecture In Helsinki
Label: Casual Workout (Australia)
Release Date: March 28th, 2014.
Architecture In Helsinki (AIH) is an Australian indie electro pop band. They started playing together on 2000 and “Now +4EVA” is their fifth studio album. Their style has has been redefined several times but ultimately they combine traditional pop beats with happy vocals and electronic backgrounds. If you’ve been a fan of the fan since before you might have been waiting for their come back since their 2011 album “Moment Blends”.
Some songs of “Now + 4EVA” really sound like 80s pop, the album could have been called “80s + 4EVA” instead. Some fans of the basis of the Architecture in Helsinki’s colorful pop style will be thrilled with this new 11-track album, others won’t. But Architecture In Helsinki is not for everyone, and even for the most hardcore pop fans, some tracks can be a little cheesy.
The album begins with In The Future a song that during its beginning and musical intervals, you can clearly hear the background synthesized-beat singing the song’s title repeatedly. When You Walk In the Room has lyrics describing with detail and exaggeration everything that happens and all the feelings triggered “when you walk in the room”; originally written Jackie DeShannon, the song has also been covered by The Searchers. I Might Survive features love song lyrics saying things like “I’d rather be with you than alive” with catchy beats that have a light jungle feel to them, like if this track could have been part of the Rio 2 movie soundtrack.
Dream A Little Crazy is the second and main single of Architecture In Helsinki’s fifth album. The lyrics talk about breaking away and freeing your mind. The song is upbeat and features a diversity of instruments lightly played on the background. The music video for the song shows the band having fun in a lab mixing colors and making a mess. The week before the release of the single the band asked five people to interpret the song and uploaded the videos to their own YouTube channel. The result is… well, see one of the five videos for yourself below:
(Boom) 4EVA is a good song that continuously repeats “You make me better”. U Tell Me has a synthesized-dub style. Echo mainly features a great performance of the female voice of AIH, Kellie Sutherland. Born To Convince You is easily the smoothest track on the album. 2 Time again, sounds very much like the 80s. April is the slow ballad of the album. “Now + 4EVA” goes out fine, with Before Tomorrow a good combination of a repeating chorus, trumpets and Kellie’s singing; it’s uplifting but not as cheesy as the other pop songs.
Heart It Races by Architecture In Helsinki from their 2007 album “Places Like This”.
Maybe Architecture In Helsinki has evolved its somewhat experimental style to the core of electro pop. They sound much more mature than before but they’ve also stripped away their sound too much. As a band evolves its style, some of its original charm always gets left behind. Maybe Architecture In Helsinki was never my cup of tea but then again, I did fall in love with many of their previous tracks that presented a richer variety of sounds and instruments. Songs like Escapee and That Beep from their previous album or even Heart It Races, Hold Music and Debbie from the album before it. “Now + 4EVA” is okay but doesn’t satisfy me. I would recommend this one exclusively for people who enjoy traditional pop, searching for something a bit more refreshing to listen to, but nothing more.