Young Magic: Melt  


Something fishy is ashore on the Australian coastline. At their best, Miami Horror and Cut Copy (both Aussies with an MOR streak) have a broad, ironic sense of humor, but Young Magic traffics in ambiguity. Multitracked vocals and thickets of lo-fi electronic fuzz drown so deep in the mix, it's hard to pick up on their signifiers of omnipotent despair. To call Melt a bliss-pop album would be wholly inapt because Young Magic is only "pop" in the vaguest sense of the word. Even the more conventionally pop-driven "Night In the Ocean" rinses in a fug of broken, weeping synths. The astonishingly creepy "Slip Time," which deploys what sounds like a choir of human voices to replicate the squeak of a violin, would be unworkable in another group's hands. While there are stretches of tedium to be endured on Melt, give Young Magic credit for drawing on elements of the supernatural to make a point about the human condition. (2 out of 5 stars)


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