5 Albums for the Week #2

Once again, Opus Sound recommends you five albums you absolutely should listen to. From funk and pop to rock and house music, whatever fancies your ears, we cover it.

Here is this week's selection:

î Chromeo - White Women
It's no secret that Chromeo always had a passion for women and  their music has, since the very beginning, flirted with romance, the ladies' irresistible power and the sexual side of a relationship. Sometimes, their lyrics can come as sexist at a first glance, with physical love overwhelming the emotional one, male weakness as an excuse for his common uncompromising flirtation, women objectification and lustful anxiety for the female round silhouette transpiring onto every song (and videoclip). But a closer look shows that this rethoric can actually be the goofier side of Chromeo criticizing society's view on women (specially in much of the music industry) and the preconceptions of the female and male roles and sexual behaviours.
As for the new album, 'White Women', expect what Chromeo have been delivering for the past ten years: retro and cool vibes, electro-funk, greasy vintage synths, swaying rhythms, cocky attitudes, but this time with a more clearer focus on the production and some nice vocal collaborations (Solange, Toro y Moi and Ezra Koenig).

î Alpines - Oasis
Being a relatively new act, British duo Alpines seems to know its way through blissful music production, captivating songwriting and classy singing. Catherine Pockson and Bob Matthews are close friends, work colleagues and do almost everything together. That degree of closeness surely helped to shape their music, which has, since 2011, been rippling through the social networks like gentle drops of water on a lake. Their debut album, 'Oasis', is finally out. Imagine AlunaGeorge's music less fragmented and Jessie Ware's coolness and mesmerizing presence being merged together, and you'll have a slight idea of what Alpines sound like. They're not exactly r&b, but they don't quite stray far from it; they're not retro, but there's a nostalgic note on their songs; they're not balearic, but still you could linger by the swimming pool listening to their music and feel freshened up; they're not pop nor house, but sometimes they experiment with those genre's languanges. It's hard to pinpoint what Alpines truly are, because their music can easily be universal and yet so singular. One thing is certain: you'll love their ethereal ramblings.

î Hercules & Love Affair - The Feast of the Broken Heart
After their successful self-titled debut in 2007, Hercules & Love Affair released a less rewarding follow up in the form of 'Blue Songs'. It lacked the surprise element that made their single 'Blind' (sang by Antony Hegarty) a massive hit which drew upon the 70's revivalism to sustain a homage to dance music, but it displayed a new promise for Andrew Butler's project: the house fever that was becoming more and more evident. In 'The Feast of the Broken Heart', H&LA fully embodies those musical blueprints and creates a modern and hypnotizing dance album, one where the hard and deep beats sound butch and powerful, fun and addictive. Its vocal contributions sure add to the songs character: Gustaph, Rouge Mary, Krystle Warren and John Grant, all of them make use of their artistry to ensure each of these club tracks becomes a truly self-sufficient song that also works out of the dancefloor.
Go on. You won't find any other house music album as awesome, raw, addictive and gratifying as this one.

î Archive - Axiom
Archive might be one of the most underrated and undisclosed alternative rock bands of all times. Which is sad, and at the same time, remarkable, actually. Sad because their music is inspiring, demanding, dauntless and wonderful; remarkable because they exist since 1994 (20 years, now...) and still are an underground act (and they don't give a fuck about that). One of their most brilliant features is being able to convey a wide range of emotions throughout an album and even in only one song, hitting us hard with the anger of pure noise textures and, in the next second, comforting us with soothing and fragile love songs. 'Axiom' is their ninth album and most ambitious work to date, as it's the OST for a forty minute short film also created by the band.
If you're new to Archive, we recommend you first listen to albums like "You All Look the Same', 'Noise', 'Controlling Crowds' and the latest 'With Us Until You're Dead'. 'Axiom' is a good album, but it only becomes complete alongside with its visual counterpart (released on some cinemas since May 30). Anyway, you should definitely check it out, because it still is a bold statement by a brilliant band.

î Moto Boy - Keep Your Darkness Secret
Swedish musician Oskar Humlebo, better known as Moto Boy, has just released his third album, titled 'Keep Your Darkness Secret'. After the self-titled debut in 2008 (an album so retro that it sounded more 80s than most of the 80s classics themselves...) and the sophomore 'Lost in the Call' in 2010, this third LP is the natural next step for his sound: a more mature, darker jurney into the pains of love.
Moto Boy's music always had that magical appeal of the doomed lover, certain that his feelings won't be returned but also that he won'te be able to just not love. His ballads are aimed at the heart and most people will easily identify themselves with the feelings sang by Humlebo. And sure, it's mainly a sad album (because it touches on subjects like unrequited love, damage, absence, sacrifice and the toll of love and time), but sometimes it also goes back to promissing times when young and undamaged people still believed in happiness.
But if you love a haunting voice singing love laments over a piano slow crying, you'll feel in rapture while venturing into Moto Boy's world. Don't miss it.

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