★★★★

 

Electric Guest are back with a stimulating follow-up to their 2012 debut, Mondo.

Their new record, Plural, has everything from breezy vibes to ’80s pop tones, a little reggae and a little rap, and really it’s quite astounding. It flirts with going too far over the top, but it still keeps everything fresh.

 

As a collection of individual songs, Plural’s varying styles are executed brilliantly. The album opens with ‘Zero’, a track that lands somewhere between Scissor Sisters and the New Romantics of the early ’80s, though it ends abruptly. ‘Oh Devil’ is a delightful summer groove, while standout track ‘Back For Me’ occupies indie territory with ease. The diversity continues with ‘Glorious Warrior’, reminiscent of a Christmas song decorated by Michael Jackson-esque lyrics and vocals – it’s unusual, but well worth your time.

 

The Californian duo channel an array of different influences throughout Plural, but ultimately it’s the rounded tone and clarity in production that most recall Electric Guest’s fine first album. 

 

This one is an appealing chill-out release, but there’s an instability to the songwriting that makes Plural slightly inferior to Mondo, enjoyable though it is.

Electric Guest’s Plural is out now thorugh Dew Process/Universal.

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