Small Black Limits of Desire

Small Black Limits of Desire
6
Small Black once specialized in a particularly noisy strain of chillwave, but they've since rounded off all the jagged edges from their sound in favour of glossy synths and crisp mid-tempo beats. Limits of Desire opener "Free at Dawn" sets the mood with heart-swelling chords that channel the cinematic earnestness of classic U2, and the rest of the album follows suit with teen movie keyboards and '80s-indebted pop anthems. The only trouble is that nearly every track captures the same sense of John Hughes-worthy nostalgia, with no cut standing out above the rest. Of the ten tracks, only slightly darker closer "Outskirts" represents a notable mood shift. Despite the lack of variety, any one of these tunes will fit nicely into a playlist, directly between "Don't You (Forget About Me)" and Pet Shop Boys' version of "Where the Streets Have No Name." (Jagjaguwar)