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Does You Inspire You Alex Denney , November 12th, 2008 14:20

Chairlift -  Does You Inspire You

In 2008 Brooklyn’s musical present seems a thrilling, almost haphazard collision of past and future tenses; the neo-tribal and psychedelic strains running through acts as diverse as Animal Collective and MGMT, Gang Gang Dance and Yeasayer having less to do with savagery and sexual revolution than they do with creating a sense of community and well-being in a careworn age.

Think of the future as an oxidisation process of sorts; the past being exposed to the corrupting air of the present to create strange new forms whose relation to history is better than superficial, it‘s illusory. The Long Island borough knows it better than most and into this maelstrom of misappropriation step latest hyped exports Chairlift, at best a smartly considered mix of space-age psychedelia and ‘80s pop rigour, at worst a shallow flouting of the aforementioned tropes.

'Garbage' serves as our stealthy introduction and it‘ll do very nicely, all chiming synths and bells redolent of Stereolab, Caroline Polachek’s ethereal voice doing just enough to suggest all’s not quite right underneath Chairlift’s dreamy exterior. It’s ‘Planet Health’ fares best of the bunch, though, an oriental-sounding melody and languid bass flourishes making for a soma-fuelled siren call in context of its twitchy depiction of sexual utopia.

But whatever its lyrical conceits ‘Evident Utensil’ sounds a bit like The Knife might if they did children’s parties - not worth dwelling on for any length of time, really. And ‘Bruises’’ toytown r'n'b is all well and good for iPod Nano ads and the like but, honestly, I’ve seen more swing on a twelve-year-old’s hips. Not that I’ve been looking that hard or anything.

It isn’t a bad pop record but it’s in threatening to be precisely more than this and skewer their glossy surfaces with a satirical sense of humour, that Does You Inspire You must rank as a glib disappointment.