C/T REVIEW: Fenech Soler, Rituals

Albums / Words

08 Oct 13

Encased in a gold knee-length top and screaming ‘Lies! Lies!’ was where I left Ben Duffy of Fenech Soler back in 2010, when their plainer-cut initial releases ‘Stop & Stare’ and ‘Lies’ stirred the electropop mix with enough gravity to pull in radio airings.

Three summers on and Rituals speaks the same language as their self-titled debut; but this time the boys came up with a more in-sync album title. Ritualism sounds mightily dense for a huge pop album like this, yet Rituals-the album is simply about the importance of music – it’s ‘In Our Blood’, they say. And so it is. Zealously unchained, yet careful: a lot to ask of a band who are still well in their youth.

Adulthood’s shadow is all over the guiding, metallic melodies and the spatial crescendos of ‘Youth’ and Rituals II’ which build and marry with blossoms of lyrical exhalation like, ”It was always you and I”.

This detailing, which is as acute in guitar-lines as it is in synth-lines, fore-fronts a bettering alt. edge for Fenech Soler, but ‘Rituals’ is anything but a hash up of ‘what if ‘ moments: instead, most of it is more exciting than a christmas morning, as stomping drops and beats carry arm-raising choruses which could go on forever and a day. Check ‘Last Forever’ and ‘Somebody’ for club-pop perfection.

It’s all emblazoned with the most affecting combo of melty sincerity and playfulness: ”I feel so alive/We can make this last forever/ We can waste time together”. This is music to end a Hollywood movie.


Spangly of synth and blocky of bass, Fenech-Soler’s new album operates comfortably enough within the post-millennial norms of clothes-shop electropop, without ever particularly breaking routine.

Maybe this should be expected of an album titled Rituals. This record observes the emotional rollercoaster of humanity’s most ritualistic of behaviours: the Massive Night Out. ‘Youth’ is the loud, ebullient pre-lash, with fantasies of macho dance beats co-fertilising with sexy, ultra-modern glitchy samples. ‘Last Forever’ – whose chorus hopes time and again that ‘we can waste time together’ – must be that 1am invincibility buzz. The come-down track ‘Fading’ has an enjoyably up-and-down melody which mimicks the digestion of a late-night kebab. (You’ve taken this metaphor far enough now – Editor.)

Closing tune ‘Glow’ ignites the ritual all over again with some hair of the dog. Same again, please. ‘Same again’ might be the ethos of the whole LP, really. Is that good enough? If this is your thing then yes, as Rituals is marvellously produced. If it isn’t, you’ll probably find nothing here either to offend or to inspire: my own verdict is that these tracks are okay; both unexceptional and unexceptionable.

And there you have it: a fairly formulaic review of a fairly formulaic album.

I am a working man now, living the dream, weekend by weekend. This particular job has changed me somewhat, especially my attitude at the moment to music. The days seem to have passed when I can sit mindlessly listening to any old shit, happy in the knowledge that a few meaningless minutes have swanned by. No, I need something that’s going to blow the dust out of my ears… Bomb my brain with strange sounds… Unfortunately Fenech Soleur’s new record does neither. Sure it’s pretty nice at times, and you can nod your head along happily, but you often can with non-offensive electronic pop. ‘All I know’ is a solid pop track, which combines all the best elements that Fenech Soleur have to offer. ‘Two Cities’ also has charm, with its engaging lyrics and nice melodic hook.

This isn’t a bad album, in fact i think many people would enjoy it, .I just never really connected with it. Listen and make up your own mind. In the end, though, for me, I just think I need a little bit more than a hotdog, know what I mean?

What do you think of the new Fenech Soler LP? It divided the C/T team leaving Adam alone in his adoration. Meh, ALBUM OF THE YEAR - (from Adam, obv x)