This album is very different from their 2014 self titled effort. The vocals are presented in a less layered manner, giving this a more straight up pop like feel similar to Luscious Jackson . It took a few songs for me to really warm up to it. Though upon a second listen to the sultry " By Your Side". There is a darker mood to this one. The guitar tones writhe around the beat which is more straight forward and almost trip hop like. "New Song" which seems to be the album's first single is much upbeat and the vocal melody has more of Euro- smoothness. The chorus is big and dancey without pandering to the likes of Lady Gaga. The band's strength is clearly their vocal melodies . They compensate for what can be the some what odd space in some of the arrangements.
They capture some great Depeche Mode like guitar tones on "So Good" which is my favorite song on the album thus far. It works off a steamy groove and vocals that always fall right where they need to . "Don't Wanna" finds the vocals up close on the mic. When the layers of vocals return it reminds me a little of their previous album, but overall there is a weird purgatory created of being more electronic yet more stripped down. The album's first slip up is the weird wavering "Don't Let Go" which never seems to get a grip in the first place. "Dre" is more like a dreamy laid back excursion Chrvches might go on rather than anything like the Dr. This song has more focus than the previous song, but is still surreal to the point of being murky.
The title track takes a brisk dynamic shift into an almost post-punk direction. "Above Control" finds the back doing what they are best at as both mesmerism and melody are in play. The album closes with the folkish ballad "Today Dear" which feels like the intro to a Brand New song. I guess the wanted a moment of vulnerability. Overall this is a great album with a few weird choices on it. I'll give it an 8.5 and see how it sits with me.