Head Automatica's second album sees Daryl Palumbo ditch the electronica of the first and head straight into 80s pop, as seen by Elvis Costello and the Attractions. This great idea clearly ran out of steam after 3 or 4 songs, as there is a night and day contrast between the good stuff here (Graduation Day) and the awful.
With Ted Leo + Pharmacists doing the whole new wave popwerpop Elvis Costello thing better than anyone (including Elvis Costello), Head Automatica clearly thought that a bit of Duran Duran and Roxy Music would do the trick. In one way, this is an entirely pleasant, if unsophisticated, album, but it never rises above that.
The album seems to have been knocked off before anyone had a chance to finish writing songs and trying them out on someone - "Daryl, we need 45 minutes, mate - we'll just have to use the ones you've not finished." All that said, where Popaganda works, it really works. Graduation Day is a great single, and it is easy to understand why it features heavily in the promo for this album. An album best bought by the track.
Adult Contemporary Essentials