Broadcast “Tender Buttons” (2005)

October 6, 2011

To blend electronic and organic into a state of balance is a triumph that probably only Broadcast could achieve. In other words, Tender Buttons rocks. Less analogue, more jarring this time – the third LP by the wizards of Warp finds them exploring new territories. The beats has become crude, even provoking but the whole album is surprisingly melodic and, horror of horrors, danceable. Black Cat is the best example of Broadcast’s new aesthetics: heavy and frigid but vibrant. It is also the best track here. America’s Boy and Michael A Grammar find the band in a similar mood. Those missing the old Broadcast will be satisfied with the opening I Found the F; it is when the band say goodbye to the past, ready to open a new chapter in their career. Arc of a Journey is a tender if dissonant sci-fi ballad. The most polished track and another standout is the instrumental Minus 3, also known as Evil Is Coming (I like the latter title best). Besides the omnipresent beats, the album has some great guitar moments: the title track is almost folk. In many songs live instruments play a major role. Tender Buttons confirms the status of Broadcast as the masters of electronica, left-field, sometimes cold and haunting but always hypnotic and full of emotions. If this is a sound of a glacier, then it must be melting.

hydrameter: 5/5

Key Tracks: America’s Boy, Arc of a Journey, Black Cat, I Found the F, Michael A Grammar, Minus 3

Watch Black Cat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOobFF1mXLU

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