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Polaroids Of Androids

Record Reviews

8.2

Collarbones
Iconography

Collarbones pride themselves on the awkward. The unsettling. The unwinnable conflict between soothing vocal harmonies, so relaxed they sound like Marvin Gaye on a metric tonne of ketamine, and the glitch-driven, motherboard of Keanu Reaves' matrix brain, unsettled, confused and completely scattered. Most probably from all those bongs him and Bill did in the late 80s.

This contradictory battle plays out for the course of Iconography, with neither side ever gaining full control of the direction. There's no doubt it's an enjoyable tussle, but the outcome dictates the level of engagement, with the soulful victories the only real instances where the listener feels like more than a bystander, most notably the retrospective glancing of Don Juan, the perfectly subtle space exploration of Yolko Park and the well-executed fragility of the album's dramatic closing number, the suitably entitled, Closer.

While Iconography is hardly a comfortable ride, that's not say it's an unenjoyable one. The patchwork start-stop-start-pause-start production that will numb your brain into a mushy substance one day will be the basin of amazing discoveries on another. But that's the nature of Collarbones' engaging, and undeniably unique, destructive pop style. Behind every sharp violent twist in direction and frustrating half-beat sample there's a well-timed relaxing rubdown, a gin and baratonic solo and/or playful hip-hop bass rumble. This depth of contrasting complexity, while at times not perfectly executed on Iconography, will undoubtably be one of the duo's finest attributes in future.

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