Album reviewsMusic

Metronomy: Summer 08 – Album of the Week

5 July, 2016 — by Christopher Ratcliff0

metronomy summer 08

Summer 08 is a sequel to the Metronomy album closest to my heart – 2008’s Night’s Out, a journey into the world of standing outside a nightclub in the rain after they’ve let the person you fancy inside, but not you, you’re wearing an outlandish pair of vintage high-tops and a threadbare hoodie.

Besides, you’d be more comfortable walking home alone through the rain, openly scream-weeping while listening to LCD Soundsystem on your faltering MP3 player anyway.

I barely remember what happened five minutes ago, let alone eight years ago, but Nights Out, and now Summer 08, fill me with memories just like the one above (which I may as well admit isn’t a fictional account).

Nostalgia’s the wrong term for what I’m trying to describe though. I’m sure there’s probably a complex German phrase for the feeling of being sat at home, happily married with a young family, thinking back to a love-lorn, angst-ridden former version of yourself while thanking Christ you don’t have to go through that again. Perhaps it’s just smugness? Anyway, that’s the kind of reflective mood we find Metronomy’s Joseph Mount experiencing on Summer 08.

Metronomy-joseph mount

2008 saw a huge change in lifestyle for the 26 year-old Mount. He went from crying outside of nightclubs and having a terrible time to being thrust into touring a successful album and forming a band. Then everything that followed was a slow-burning trajectory to this very moment, taking in the luscious sun-drenched pop of The English Riviera and the sugary warmth of Love Letters. Both albums more successful than the last, both albums leaving the hedonistic and heartbreaking world of clubland far behind.

But now Mount has chosen to revisit the summer of eight years ago, temporarily going solo and foregoing touring, in order to bring you another funky dance album full of wonky time-signatures and falsetto vocals, designed to accurately reflect what it’s like for a person in their mid-30s going out for the first time in years to recreate some entirely fraudulent idea of how great it was to have a ‘large one’ in the late 2000s.

Opening tracks ‘Back Together’ and ‘Miami Logic’ are all bright optimism underpinned with easy cocky charm. You’re with friends. Everything is sexy and slinky but mercifully safe. “Hey this shirt still fits! Hey I didn’t think I’d hear Daft Punk tonight!”

But once ‘Old Skool’ (by far Summer 08’s most addictive track) comes around, things have gone a little cock-shaped. You realise why some of your friends are so insufferable when you catch three of them in the toilet doing coke. You refuse their offer of a toot on grounds of you not being a total prick. You recognise fewer of the songs. The beer is crap. The shots are horrible. Some of your other friends, who you thought were happily married, are starting to exhibit disturbing behaviour towards random attractive strangers.

Then during ’16 Beat’ – ostensibly a love song to Mount’s favourite dance rhythm – and the gorgeous ‘Hang Me Out to Dry’ featuring Robyn, you catch yourself in that dreaded nostalgic mood. You remember some lost love from 20 years ago and how innocent that feeling was; how they smelt like spearmint chewing gum; how difficult courting used to be before the internet, and how triumphant you felt when someone said they loved you for the first time. Then you realise this pathetic display is all fuelled purely by alcohol and you’ve actually never been happier with your life than right now. You go home without saying goodbye to anyone.

The final contemplative third of Summer 08, from ‘Night Owl’ onward, is for staring out of your taxi window, grateful you left the club before shit got even shittier. You head back home to safety, where you can stay for the rest of your life and be thankful you never have to go out again.

If that sounds exactly like the last night out you had, then Summer 08 is the perfect album for you.*

*Summer 08 is also a perfectly acceptable listen for people who aren’t quite so emotionally unstable, or have already learned from their past mistakes.

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Metronomy - Summer 08

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