Saloon If We Meet In the Future

We all know that second albums can be tough, especially when your debut causes a stir. Reading, UK’s Saloon rises to the occasion with an outstanding album, one that is more direct than their dreamier introduction. Producing the material themselves in their own studio was a risky move, but they managed just fine, and the songs sound great. There’s still a definite Stereolab-meets-Krautrock sound to If We Meet In the Future, with its droning bass lines and soft, multi-language female vocals. As a whole, the album is more consistent than its predecessor, with a bigger sound, and tighter songs. They do allow things to slow down on "Kaspian” and "Dreams Mean Nothing,” but then come right back with a bang on "The Good Life” — one of the album highlights that bears a striking resemblance to New Order’s "Love Vigilantes.” The album simply sounds great — blending catchy indie pop with rich, vintage synthesisers, and Amanda Gomez’s lighter-than-air voice. It’s not surprising that Saloon have performed a soundtrack to a sci-fi movie (La Jetee), as there is a real cinematic quality to the songs. Their debut album title This Is What We Call Progress was a good omen, since they have embraced progress as their mantra, and brought us a worthy successor. (Darla)