- 12 Oct 18
Former Czars man goes full pop on his new album released today.
On his fourth solo record, John Grant delves further into his '80s electronic side, using squelchy bleeps and whirring synths to explore the dichotomy between the absurdity of life and its often powerful beauty. Opener 'Metamorphosis' is a statement of intent. Like most of Love Is Magic it veers between pounding electro-funk and wistful balladry.
This duality makes the record a fascinating listen, with both elements nicely complementing one another. The darker, funnier tracks like skit 'Diet Gum', 'He's Got His Mother's Hips' and 'Preppy Boy' - the latter two sounding like early LCD Soundsystem stuck in a blender with Gary Numan and MIA - are all impressively catchy. Yet it's the album's sincere side that stays with the listener, hitting harder amidst the cynicism.
The title track is a dazzling glam pop ballad, with Grant softly crooning, 'When the door opens up for you/ Don't resist, just walk on through.' Meanwhile, if it weren't for Grant's distinctive deep tenor, one could mistake piano-driven tunes like 'Is He Strange' and closer 'Touch And Go' for Elton John.
Love Is Magic sags at times, with virtually every song lasting more than five minutes; the denouement of 'Tempest', in particular, is hampered by gimmicky keyboard sounds. These flaws aside, Grant's latest genuinely is magic.