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Dobbeltgjenger — Smooth Failing
(Karisma KAR195, 2021, CD / LP / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2022-06-09

Smooth Failing Cover art

Continuing on from the excellent Limbohead (2018), Dobbeltgjenger gives us Smooth Failing, a set of nine clever pop tunes that lean toward the late 70s stylistically. Yes, that means disco, but hopefully enough time has passed since the days when burning piles of disco records was fashionable that we can approach the album without prejudice. We can admit that any genre, even disco, can contain good music. (Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot of horrible disco music that sucked the life right out of listeners who loved music, but there were gems to be found amidst the profitable piles of trash.) Taken individually, the songs on Smooth Failing are enjoyable, though I’ll admit to missing the variety of sounds heard on the previous record. To be fair, some of the tracks lean more towards the funk side of the equation than just steady-thumping dance beats with pea-soup hihats, but after a few songs in a row, I need a break. The most successful songs are the ones that lean more to rock, like “Dive In” and “Electrical Seasons,” the latter of which ventures into odd meters. The other standout track is “La Dee Da,” which is a warped post-punk art-rock tune a little reminiscent of Franz Ferdinand. Overall, I’d say that Smooth Failing is a really good half album with another half that’s much less interesting. Let’s hope they’re over their disco phase and can put together something solid all the way through next time.

Filed under: New releases, 2021 releases

Related artist(s): Dobbeltgjenger

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