Saturday, May 7, 2016

Teleman - Brilliant Sanity

The great records keep coming up the pike this year. This one's just the latest. Two years back English band Teleman, included an extra track on their debut album Breakfast. Called Not In Control and the best thing they'd ever done up to this point, it laid down the template for this, their second. Sleek and Germanic, with a better adjusted Ian Curtis at the mic it offered a polished promise that they've fulfilled almost wholly here.

The keyword is clearly Germanic, for Teleman, like Franz Ferdinand ten years before them look towards all things Teutonic as the source in their search for a holy pop grail. On Brilliant Sanity they nail it on several occasions. Most obviously on opening salvos Dussledorf, (see what I mean?) Fall In Time and Glory Hallelujah a set of songs so assured and inspired that they set the bar almost impossibly high for themselves to sustain for the rest of the course of the record.

'Put on, put on your favourite song...'

The album dips for a couple of tracks but then steers itself back on course with slower number Canvas Shoe which restores a glacial calm and thereafter the record picks up a speedy pace again that it maintains until arrival. Tangerine has an inspired oriental back-melody. English Architecture gives you the sense that you're speeding off in a state of the art car with someone you love. Melrose, oddly reminded me of Cat Stevens's Wild World, but in a good way. Drop Out revisits Not In Control in terms of picking up on the basic fear we all have of losing the plot altogether. Fortunately they don't. Devil In My Shoe is as emotional as they get, gives you the greatest glimpse of the band's basic humanity and is a fitting and touching closer. There's more to say about the album but I'll leave it at that for now.

There's much to appreciate and relish here. Teleman are skilled pop practitioners, never quite giving of themselves, afraid of letting go altogether concerned as they are first and foremost with keeping the production line going. Nothing wrong with that. We've all got a job to do.  Brilliant Sanity should sell much, much more and get more attention than it seems likely to do given the current market and where most people seem to be looking. I'm going off a limb in preferring it to the current Beyonce. It seems to me to express a more individual and basic humanity. It also sounds like a 2016 record much as it draws on New Wave ingredients. Exercise you basic rights. Buy this instead!

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