Momus Hypnoprism

As a recording artist, Nick Currie (aka Momus) has consistently challenged himself via a series of collaborations, concept albums and other dalliances with the arts. During the last two years, he's written a couple of novels, but he has finally moved his musical endeavours off the backburner with Hypnoprism. It's his most straightforward album in years, and benefits as a result. It's simply a collection of songs that he wrote during 2010, but they were all put up on his YouTube channel with an accompanying video as completed. Stripping the songs of any visual component doesn't have any negative impact, but as an album, it's somewhat fragmented, with a mix of musical styles that can clash awkwardly. This is due to the fact that this is the sound of someone playing with ideas and seeing what works and what doesn't. It does work, for the most part, with the title track harkening back to his days on Creation, while the glitchy electronica of "Bubble Music" is more in line with his recent albums. Naturally, he spends a little too much time delving into his usual seedier obsessions, but based on this newfound playfulness and his more recent YouTube videos, this looks like a return to form for Momus. (Darla)