Real Tuesday Weld The London Book of the Dead

Rather conveniently, the Real Tuesday Weld’s bandleader Stephen Coates has come up with a term to describe his unique style of music. "Antique beat” is a mixture of conventional indie pop and samples taken from ’30s jazz records, and the resultant music has a cabaret-like quality that’s utterly charming. Coates, however, might be getting to the point where he’s taken his persona and style as far as he can because The London Book of the Dead relies on a lot of the same tricks he’s been perfecting over the past five years. So while it’s kind of cool for first time listeners, those who’ve heard a previous record can’t help but think they’ve heard it all before. That isn’t to say that The London Book of the Dead isn’t without its lure because Coates’s music is very likeable and easy to listen to. Despite the fact that the album is a little too long, the songs are stronger than on its predecessors and his Divine Comedy-esque performances are frequently lovely. But only in smaller doses and with diminishing returns. (Six Degrees)