Architecture in Helsinki's Places Like This

Playful pop that's a touch too unhinged and bleepy for its own good

During the making of Places Like This, Archi- tecture in Helsinki vocalist Cameron Bird and drummer James Cecil IM'd parts back and forth between Brooklyn and Melbourne: "It got to the point where we were jamming on Instant Messenger!" Bird says.

If that's the kind of thing that taps your keys, you will

It's not an altogether bad adjustment: A playful party vibe emerges, and "Heart It Races" is a perfect summer anthem, flawlessly encapsulating the anxiety of a recent Brooklyn transplant with cheeky chants replicating the reggaetón thump that Brooklynites hear out their windows, while inexplicably great lyrics like "I bought it in a can/And stirred it with my finger" compliment echo-chamber steel percussion that conjures that guy from the L platform. But the highlights diminish from there. "Hold Music" sounds like a lost B-52s single, and its companions are all mercilessly up-tempo dancers and rockers: Thisis the kind of record you might pop in to stay awake during the final stretch of a 10-hour drive to meet your lover at a motel in Kalamazoo. (Motel in Kalamazoo--now there's a band name!) Places Like Thisultimately shares qualities with its IM-chat womb: It's entertaining as hell, but eventually you'd rather just minimize the window and get on with your day.

 
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