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Teleman: Brilliant Sanity – Album Review

7 April, 2016 — by Christopher Ratcliff0

The trouble with reviewing Teleman is that on listening to their new album Brilliant Sanity, I couldn’t get the phrase “like a Krautrock Pet Shop Boys” out of my head. And as much as I try to go deeper than that glib comparison in the following review, that’s the most accurate description for them you’re going to get. 

Unfortunately both Krautrock and Pet Shop Boys are separately better things than Teleman, so really what you’re left with is a kind of ‘Metronomy-lite’. On their debut, Breakfast, the opening track ‘Cristina’ was the highlight mainly because it was catchy and a bit pervy. The opening track of Brilliant Sanity, ‘Dusseldorf’, is the strongest for the same reasons, but sadly sounds so derivative of Metronomy that it’s kind of taking the piss.

teleman-brilliant-sanity cover

On both albums, Teleman are guilty of being a band with songs that don’t really go anywhere; just one fairly okay idea that plods along until the final band member gets a bit tired and needs a rest after three or four minutes They’re a bit fay like that.

It’s perhaps unfair to judge a band by their former incarnation, in this case the sadly overlooked and terribly named Pete and the Pirates, but here they really could use some of that band’s unique drama and dynamism. Although there’s no other vocalist who sounds quite like Thomas Sanders, with his clipped falsetto and light vulnerability, it’s complemented better with the richer texture of Pete and the Pirates, rather than the robotic clinical nature of his current backing. This is proved on ‘Fall in Time’, the album’s most (relatively) menacing track featuring a sinisterly approaching minor chord that’s offset brilliantly with Sanders’ sweet natured vocals.

teleman on an escalator

The worst moment on the album is a song titled ‘Canvas Shoe’ which is as bland and inoffensive as the title suggests. There’s something vaguely of the ‘Sorry theme tune’ to Teleman. A bit light-funk, a little apologetic. Although I should add that the Sorry theme tune is a masterpiece and Teleman come off far worse in this comparison. That being said, Brilliant Sanity is better than their debut, it’s just that Teleman are left far behind by similar but more imaginative and ambitious bands like The Maccabees. But then The Maccabees had a bit of a wet start too, so perhaps some optimism could be found.

Check out all the latest music releases in our new album reviews section, including Deftones’ latest album Gore.

PS… As I teased it earlier, I feel it’s only right that we should all sit and listen to the Sorry theme tune now. Here are 10 glorious hours of it…

Teleman - Brilliant Sanity

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