Don’t Call It a Comeback
With the return of veteran electronic acts at its peak—The BPA, Fatboy Slim, Basement Jaxx, The Prodigy—could we be seeing the era of the comeback? Maybe so, but that won’t be solidified until the godfathers of the genre, Daft Punk, make their full return. That building anxiety leaves London dance duo Groove Armada in quite the predicament. It wasn’t too long ago that Andy Cato and Tom Findlay hit the ground running with Soundboy Rock, which means their latest release, Black Light, isn’t the traditional homecoming fans may have expected. Instead, Black Light, Groove Armada’s sixth studio album, is a reinvention of sorts that sees one of the U.K.’s biggest electronic artists sampling heavily from a grab bag of influences both new and old.
As bonafide trailblazers, it’s interesting to see the duo taking avid notes from contemporary peers: The traces of LCD Soundsystem synths are inescapable; the hipness of Empire of the Sun, whose Nick Littlemore contributes vocals on electro-thrashing opener “Warsaw” and several other tracks, bleeds across the album. But forget all that. Landing Roxy Music front man Bryan Ferry (a undeniable career and personal high for Groove Armada) on the sultry “Shameless” shuts all competition down. That coupled with the powerfully catchy, dominating “Paper Romance” puts Groove Armada at the top of the food chain.
Black Light won’t fill that Daft Punk void, but it’s a solid enough release to make fans wonder if that wait matters anymore.