Thursday 4 April 2013

Review: Mesh - 'Automation Baby'

'Automation Baby' 

The duo of Mark Hockings and Richard Silverthorn have created a legacy in Mesh that is truly enviable. Their back catalogue of electro/synthpop albums has been of a consistently high quality for over twenty years now, which has sometimes seen them become victims of their own success. And it is this that their fifth full-length studio album, 'Automation Baby', must measure up against. A daunting task by anyone's estimation, yet Hockings and Silverthorn still manage to breathe new life into their sound.

It is apparent from the the first bars of 'Just Leave Us Alone' that they are on top form as they demonstrate that the past three years since 'A Perfect Solution' has been time well spent. Playing-off the bands penchant for anthemic choruses and memorable melodies, the up-tempo, energetic style propelled by Hockings' strong vocal delivery is both infectious and emotive giving 'Automation Baby' both universal club appeal as well as a lot of live potential.

Songs like the lead single 'Born To Lie' as well as 'Automation Baby', 'This Is The Time', 'Flawless' and 'When The City Breathes' are instant hits that draw from the band's classic sound and will no doubt become integral to the band's live show. While the likes of the two 'AB Incidental' tracks, 'The Way I Feel' and 'You Couldn't See This Coming' simply display the skilful and emotionally evocative writing and execution befitting of two veterans of this calibre.

The album, as you'd come to expect is flawlessly mixed and produced. But best of all, it highlights that Mesh are not afraid to mix more complex arrangements with commercial viability. As a result the album feels a lot more mature and works on a lot of levels so that across the fourteen tracks (clocking up over an hour in total length) the band constantly hold the listener's interest.

Mesh have always been ambitious and on 'Automation Baby' they fully realise their goals in creating not only one of the strongest albums in their own discography, but in the electro-pop genre as a whole.

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