The Shortwave Set Replica Sun Machine

The Shortwave Set Replica Sun Machine
The Shortwave Set's debut, the criminally overlooked The Debt Collection, was a joyous mixture of unlikely instruments and samples that had more in common with the Avalanches than Clinic or the Super Furry Animals, the bands they are reminiscent of these days. And the transition to the psychedelic sound of Replica Sun Machine has happened effortlessly. It might mark quite a shift in the band's sound but they have managed to make an incredibly accomplished album that delivers on all levels. It also comes with a formidable line-up of guests, with John Cale and Van Dyke Parks providing atmospheric lushness to the proceedings, while Danger Mouse's production is surprisingly light-handed and allows the loveliness of the songs to shine through. It manages to stop short of being a pop psyche pastiche, perhaps in part because of the collaborators but the band's combination of male/female harmonies and giddy pop tunes is irresistible, with the obvious highlight being the organ-driven "No Social," although there are plenty of runners-up. This is a very satisfying album. (Wall of Sound)