Elefant The Black Magic Show

There was a time when NYC band Elefant were one of those buzz bands that looked like they were actually capable of delivering on the hype. But in the past three years, something has apparently gone wrong. While their debut Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid hinted at what might lie ahead for Elefant, the follow-up The Black Magic Show demonstrates the many missed opportunities and what could have been. These days, Elefant lack originality. Not content with mining the same glassy pop vein as the Killers, with a touch of Interpol-lite thrown in for good measure, they’ve even written a song called "Lolita.” Yup, that Lolita, with all the appropriate (or maybe that should be inappropriate) clichés. They try so hard to be dark and interesting, but fall short at almost every point. An initial listen might reveal that The Black Magic Show can be catchy in very small doses, like an occasional song on the radio. But continued exposure will divulge the terrible truth that there is absolutely nothing of substance under the surface. This is contrived, one-dimensional pop of the worst kind — it pretends to be enigmatic and special, but it just isn’t. Of course, they’ll be huge. (Kemado)