Client City

Choosing to adopt the monikers of Client A and Client B, and selecting promotional shots that don’t show their faces (only their bodies), Client appear to be actively opting for anonymity and letting their music do the talking. Or maybe it is just an attempt to get some publicity, aided by their choice of matching air hostess uniforms for their live shows. Yet they don’t really need such manoeuvres, and after discovering the identities of the duo and noting some of the other bigger names involved in the process, it isn’t hard to figure out how they got to where they are today. Client are Kate Holmes, ex-member of Frazier Chorus and wife of pop mastermind Alan McGee, and Sarah Blackwood, formerly of Dubstar; so the roots of their sound are a little more obvious. Add to that the production of Joe Wilson from the Sneaker Pimps and a guest spot from Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore, and most people can probably guess what Client are going to sound like. And they’d be right — this is ’80s synth-pop re-imagined for a new generation, something reflected by the guest vocals of a couple of the Libertines, although that feels more like pandering than anything else. They even stay true to their Northern roots, borrowing heavily from the Human League and even more so from Heaven 17, stealing their hook from "I’m Your Money” for "In It for the Money.” City works best when the songs are uncluttered and sound more clinical in their execution, taking their influence from the Normal and even Joy Division, with the album peaking with the first track, "Radio.” Sometimes the songs seem to consist of two or three lines repeated ad nauseam, but there is enough mundane drama to pull in all but the most resistant of listeners. (Mute)