Digitalism new album seems to have suffered from the old cliché of the difficult second album and in places ‘I Love You, Dude’ shows that they are still a great electronic act, but deviates too far from what we know and love about the Hamburg duo.
Rather trying to make ‘Idealism Part 2’ they’ve gone down the route of trying to be more traditional with their song structures, it even see’s Jens singing for a number of tracks. Has it been a success? Well, no. There are nuggests of greatness, but it’s full of missed opportunities and attempts at songs that just don’t suit their style.
It’s certainly a brave move and brings them into the sphere of indie crossover. The opening track ‘Stratosphere’ starts the album of with a mish mash of early Digitalism, rock and indie vibes – a steady start, nothing mind blowing, but a decent start nonetheless.
Next we have the second single ‘2 Hearts’ where Digitalism shows off their ability to write lyrics and for once sing them – we originally didn’t have a great deal of time for it, but over time it has grown on us – and we have to concede we like it. It sounds very similar to Delphic. This is a good thing. A great summer indie track.
‘Circles’ ups the anti with a proper distorted electro track – the vocal is very annoying. Digitalism lovers with love the trashy synths but we’d like to see this a dub version – not sure the vocal adds to the track.
Fan favourite ‘Blitz’ rears it’s stuttering head halfway through, we think it’s great, we heard it so many times now, but the epic synth driven breakdown still gets us in the mood to dance. A standout track.
The CD picks up some more pace with ‘Forest Gump’ but it ends up sounding like something you’d be likely to hear on Skins. Not a bad track, but the rock and indie influences just don’t sit well enough with the electronic undertones. It suffers from too many crappy chorus’ and not enough punch and power. Not a good track at all.
The CD then starts to fall apart. ‘Reeperbahn’ is a fairly offensive hodgepodge of crazy Rob Zombie rock and electro – it could work in the right hands, but just sounds a bit dated and slightly boring.
Saving graces come the shape of club cuts ‘Antiboitics’ a heavy concoction of techno, acid and electro. This will be something that you’ll be hearing in future live shows for sure. If you’re liking the acid revival of late – then you’ll like this for sure.
The only other notable track comes from ‘Miami Showdown’ probably the finest track on the album and given bizarrely away as freebie by the band – take this, ‘Blitz’, and a couple of others and run.
‘I Love You, Dude’ is a album of two half’s, one half where they stick to the tried and tested Digitalism formula, the other half falls apart quite quickly, apart from ‘2 Heart’s’ the indie focussed tracks just don’t work, many of them sound a bit laboured. There’s nothing new or exciting in ‘I Love You, Dude’ – it’s just fails to light the touch paper and in electro that is unforgivable.
HBF Rating 5/10
Out June 5th