It feels like a lifetime since the Gorgons rocked our world with 'Ready For Your Love', the collaboration with MNEK that continued our re-emerging love affair with the skeletal, bomping house of the early 90s. One of those songs that never felt like it was getting old, it's hardly a surprise that it's made it onto on 'Sirens', the début album from the producers whose daytime names are Kyle Gibbon and Matt Robson-Scott.
They probably won't thank us for the label, but it's hard not to make comparisons to Disclosure, another relatively anonymous duo who owe a debt to the club vibes of 20th century. The differences between this and their album 'Settle' are in the margins, but present however. Both are impossibly slick, almost flawless, but whilst it was apparent that the Lawrence brothers were ready to take a few risks, 'Sirens' is so smooth it's almost featureless, constantly returning to a lexicon that predictably features wanting to be in love/being in love/being back out of love in what eventually feels like endless rotation.
Not that the boys don't have some pulling power: along with MNEK, the guest list here features Katy B, Jennifer Hudson and Maverick Sabre, amongst others. Of this big-hitting roster it's the latter which gets the best deal, dousing both 'Coming Home' and 'Hard On Me' with that rusty trademark squawk, his fractured pipes dragging some much needed soul from the source material. Misses Hudson and B are, in contrast, mutually left with some up front but fairly generic house workouts on 'Go All Night' and 'Lover Like You' respectively, marquee signings that could've both done with something that showcased their depth a little more.
There's an argument that this maxim could be applied right across 'Sirens', so, to come at this from another more reasonable perspective, how well does it do the job of being a straightforward, pretension-free pop record? Answer: quite effectively. In that context, tracks like 'Take It All' - dubby, gospel inflections and four to the floor - and the spry diva-funk of 'Imagination' are all they need to be, designed for that purpose and sure of themselves.
Perhaps this is just the place that music is in now as an art form: a record like 'Sirens' - uncluttered, astutely made, sonically pristine - seems by the same token remote, lacking ambition and almost trapped by its own conventions. Maybe we've already moved on from accepting albums like this and 'Settle' as more than the sum of their parts; either way, Gibbon and Robson-Scott will need to have a bigger, bolder set of ideas should they make it to outing number two.
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