Published Apr 04, 2017Though they're labelled as an EDM duo, Phantoms actually lean more towards electro-pop on this self-titled LP. Their production range doesn't explore the crazy dynamics of modern dance music; rather, they sit between indie electronic and Top 40, which comes as no surprise given Phantoms gained notoriety with remixes of singers like Rihanna and Ariana Grande.
Yet, as hard as they're trying on songs like "Something to Talk About" and "Just a Feeling," Phantoms don't have the sophistication of a Disclosure, Flume or even Classixx. These tracks are enjoyable as lesser variations on the theme, but with lyrics like "You're pulling me in / You're pulling me under / If I couldn't swim / Would you get in the water," they come off a little generic. As if custom-made for streaming services playlists, the songs from Phantoms will probably fit snugly between the electro pop hits of the summer, without ever eclipsing them.
This is especially frustrating since the duo show promise when they veer from the populated territories of mainstream pop to explore weirder elements of songwriting. Mid-tempo album opener "She Never Tells Me," for example, contrasts interestingly with the majority of the songs that follow. Breaking from the verse-rise-chorus mould, it allows the listener a glimpse of the producers' personalities, which hopefully they'll show more of on subsequent efforts. (Casablanca / Republic)