"Heart It Races" by Architecture In Helsinki
The Australian band Architecture In Helsinki has embraced some big changes since releasing its 2005 standout In Case We Die, including the departure of two members, the relocation of leader Cameron Bird from Melbourne to Brooklyn, and the release of a remix disc. Those three events seem to have influenced Places Like This—and not in a good way. Where In Case was a lush, symphonic take on indie-dance that hovered gracefully between Out Hud and Tom Tom Club, the group's new lineup has rendered Places a shrill, aimless expenditure of energy. Bird's adopted hometown appears to have sapped some of his unguarded joy, too. Even when the B-52's-meet-Muppets workout "Hold Music" jumps and swells with brass, Bird's antics—as well as his increasingly gargled voice—feel more forced than fun. Worse, "Heart It Races" could be a hollow remix of In Case's "Do The Whirlwind," only minus the fluid pulse and monstrous hooks. In spite of Architecture In Helsinki's trademark bounce and imagination, Places feels far more like work than play.