Clientele The Violet Hour

As they proved with their debut album, Suburban Light, London, England’s the Clientele are true masters of capturing the textbook, chamber pop sound. Blending the magical sounds of the Left Banke, Love and cult favourites Felt to perfection, the Clientele have somehow mastered their own timeless sound with only two albums. The Violet Hour doesn’t stray very far from its predecessor, yet it’s not as immediately revealing, burying melodies deep within. The unique lyrical style of Alasdair MacLean is lush and filled with English references that are so delicate they’re quite easy to miss. There are some admirable changes to the Clientele sound that come as quite a surprise, even though they’re not as drastic as having a little taken off the sides. Most noticeable is the interpretation of "Jamaican Rum Rhumba,” a blink-and-you-miss-it instrumental that adds a little groove into the mix. The aptly named "Prelude” as well, brings another quality to the fold, introducing a lonesome bit of cinematic jazz to give the record a break. Of course, more than any one song, it’s the heavenly production of the Clientele’s sound that makes them so special. With the help of engineer Mike Jones, the Clientele have recorded a grandiose model of reflective pop music. (Merge)