November 07, 2002

Partnerships "Double Love Suicide"

New wave never sounded so good. No, really, it didn't! Since technology has made it much easier to make music, it seems only natural that bands would start to make music that sounds a lot more complex than it actually is, and the Partnerships are one of the first groups to pull off sounding totally new-wave on a lo-fi budget. That this rich, full album is on a label notorious for its challenging electronics and lo-fi production makes Double Love Suicide an even greater pleasure.

Now, I can't tell you who is doing what; there's not a drop of description of that information included anywhere on Double Love Suicide. Guess I could take the time to look it up, but the music's too good. Maybe, then, that's the point? Instead of worrying about details as who does what, what's played, and who helped out, maybe, just maybe, the Partnerships would rather you focus your attention to the fact that they're talented musicians?

And man, it sounds so good! For what's probably two fellows at home, the Partnerships can easily contend with the best of the 1980s. Just listening to Double Love Suicide I'm reminded of Marc Almond, Pet Shop Boys, Kajagoogoo, The Beloved, Frazer Chorus, Duran Duran, and New Order--and that's just with the first listen! Thankfully, these guys aren't trying to be Gary Numan or any of the more arty electronic acts--apparently, they're more into the whole enjoyment of music thing, as opposed to making a statement or trying to sound like "the future"---the main failing of most modern "new wave" bands, whose attempts at reproduction fail because they fail to recognize the pure, simple joy of pop.

It's not all synths, though. Occasionally, such as on "Comfortable Again" and "Falling," they eschew the synths for the guitar. They can actually sing, too. Whoever it is, they've got a super high voice, which takes you to a new level of listening enjoyment. The music is never sloppy, either--it's very, very tight. Hell, you could probably fool the occasional retro-radio listener with most of these songs. Hell, you could fool me with most of these songs , too!

Double Love Suicide is one of those rare records you're not gonna want to put down, simply because they offer your ears a musical pleasure very few, if any, artist can accomplish anymore. Not the most orignial record, but then again, I don't think they want to do anything more than entertain you with the sounds they love. After all, isn't music made to be enjoyed?

--Joseph Kyle

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