1 + 1 = 1
Reflecting the psychedelic rock of the 60s, The Clientele return with their third album, Strange Geometry, a title that best describes the musical patterns contained on the record. Misunderstood British vocals lay the foundation for repetitive guitar riffs, which through each track sporadically morph for brief intervals. A take-off from The Velvet Underground (or even The Monkees), please welcome the new generation of British psychedelic. With an even dozen cuts, The Clientele have done little to differentiate anything. Each song carries the same mellow mood, with the same broken chords, the same muffled vocals, and the same object of poetic reflection: K, and not the special kind. Or is it? At first glance the lyrics suggest a breakup album with several track titles referencing loneliness and abandonment circling around one key figure, K. While K could represent an ex, it’s personified like a drug. “Everything is so vivid and so creepy” taken from “Since K Got Over Me;” “You flow through my nails and skin/Moving like the sunlight in the alleyway” from “K;” and “All that day and all that night/Our dead friends walked into the streets… They mingled with the crowds/Until the living and the dead became each other” from “When I Came Home From the Party.”
If K is the lyrical motif, reverb is such in the music. While in some songs the effect is muffled, others go as far to achieve echoing tranquility. Most tunes contain a standard walking bass and unobtrusive drums, and while this is the first album The Clientele employs strings, it’s hardly noticed. It’s a great sound, but with only one this album lacks depth.