National Trust Kings & Queens

The follow up to critically acclaimed debut Dekaggar has been defined by the National Trust’s Neil Rosario and Mark Henning as "body music”; a blend of smooth, sensual grooves that can best be described as indie electro funk. With a horns section from Hypnotic, synths and guitars, dreamy falsetto vocals, R&B beats, congas and percussion galore, the National Trust have a warm, rich sound that is at times a little too built up. The idea is as progressive as it is retro: sexy disco tunes taken to the extreme, but the album doesn’t quite hit the mark, falling between stylish and sleazy. "It’s Just Cruel” is a perfect example, kicking in with a groove and a bass line that feels like "Disco Infiltrator” but then let down by gratuitous use of slap bass, an awkward trumpet riff and a campy conga solo. Nevertheless, Kings & Queens is enjoyable and does best on tracks like "Jacuzzis,” more of a hip-hop piece with a beatnik intro that, unlike many tracks, is not having an identity crisis. (Thrill Jockey)