Switched On – De Lux: Do You Need A Release? (Innovative Leisure)

Reviewed by Ben Hogwood

What’s the story?

Do You Need A Release? is a highly appropriate title for our times. It is the third album from Californian band De Lux, who are principally the founding duo of Sean Guerin and Isaac Franco. However on the sessions for this album they brought their live band into the studios at Long Beach and made this set of powerful, electronically sourced pop music.

What’s the music like?

De Lux offer an invigorating album of time travelling, switching effortlessly between the past (Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club and Blancmange are all palpable influences) and the present / future. Like a poppier version of The Rapture or !!!, they hit the listener right between the eyes with a set of euphoric choruses, sharply defined electro disco and highly effective power pop.

The live aspect is important and keeps the music with a quickly beating heart. They Call This Love provides a brilliant first chorus, a sign of strength for the album lying ahead. Validation has a sharper edge, nicely realised, while Some Things Never Break mines the archive for a riff that could easily have been transported in from a Telex record. The punchy guitars are a great complement here.

On And On (Till The End Of Us) has a strutting beat and a strong chorus (going on and on and on!) while by contrast The Final Breath You Take is a poignant and understated number, and rather moving with it.

Does it all work?

It does indeed – a really strong set of grooves and sentiments for our times. The only slight problem is one of length, with some tracks fulfilling a 12″ structure – but if you’re happy with that, there really are no problems.

Is it recommended?

Yes, and especially if you like any of the names mentioned above. If you do need a release, you know exactly what you should do!

Listen

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