Telefon Tel Aviv A Map of What is Effortless

With their debut album in 2001, Fahrenheit Fair Enough, Telefon Tel Aviv showed up with sophisticated chill-out music topped off by a crust of fine glitch-y grace. On their latest, Map of What is Effortless, the duo of Joshua Eustice and Charles Cooper return with their established elegance and sobriety. This album is both more melodic and more vocal than the last, making it more accessible, yet the pair inject the small details that make the record both aloof and endearing. On the new album the awards for "Best Title” and "Most Likely to be Remixed by Anyone Who’s Anyone” go to the languid hipster pep of "My Week Beats Your Year.” The more mature and amorous "Bubble and Spike” is memorable for its poised sweetness while still being drawn out and sensual, which are characteristics that most tracks on the album share. However, there are drawbacks. The stringed morning-epiphanies-on-a-mountain-esque epic of the title track is placed smack dab in the middle of the disc, when it should either be at the end or not present at all due to its melodramatic approach. Just like their first album, this record suffers from a hovering sense of spacelessness that taints the relaxation with the unease of being unanchored. Mature and creative but perhaps not as sentimental as it was intended to be, Map of What is Effortless is easily elegant. (Hefty)