BY APRIL S. ENGRAM
After LCD Soundsystem (aka James Murphy) bowed out, many of the musicians who collaborated with Murphy went on to create their own projects: enter former LCD drummer Pay Mahoney. With his friend Dennis McNany the two formed Museum of Love, and for their self titled debut they’ve forged a unique electronic soundscape.
Mahoney’s vocal stylings alter slightly with the feel of each track as his soft, wispy voice balances between singing and spoken word. His lyrical approach fits the underlying melancholy that quietly pervades the album; calmer tracks such as “FATHERS” or “Monotronic” illustrate their knack for creating still, somber tracks that possess a quirky lead synth that lightens the feel. Within the latter track, rolling effects and a simple bass drum lead listeners to the words “I wasn’t made for this much happiness.” As the laid back beat gives way to organ-like keyboards we wait for the song to peak and take off; instead it, remains at its steady pace…and it works.
Static drums and shakers pick up the mellow “Down South” for a sophisticated track as Mahoney croons, “I want to feel in love.” “In Infancy” and “The Who’s Who of Who Cares” are also stand out songs yet the best number on the album holds the most head scratcher of a title, “Learned Helplessness In Rats (Disco Drummer).” Opening with the sound of waves, a steel drum and synth voices, the sounds fade to a deep bass and upbeat drums; it’s utterly entrancing. The album closes with tracks that deviate from the rest of the album; while an edgier rock influenced sound takes over “The Large Glass”—the almost lyrics track features distorted guitars and punk drum beat—closing song “And All The Winners (Fuck You Buddy)” is a ‘70s/soul-inspired number in which Mahoney’s almost falsetto delicately sings “how many ships have sailed and sank for it…fuck you buddy.”
A fine debut that is quite cohesive and flows well from track to track, with the exception of anomaly “Large Glass,” Museum of Love is a nonformulaic, hard to pin down, quirky and danceable album.
DOWNLOAD: “Down South,” “The Who’s Who of Who Cares,” “Learned Helplessness in Rats”