Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Russian Futurists Look Ahead

Canada's favorite Russians who aren't actually Russians have returned. The Russian Futurists have come back and this time The Weights On The Wheels. The Russian Futurists, aka Matthew Adam Hart have come a long long way from the lo-fi bedsit synth pop that made them famous. Gone are the five dollar budgets and broken beats replaced with the big productions and big producers to take control and sculpt The Weights On The Wheels into an indie pop juggernaut. The Weights On The Wheels is by the far best Russian Futurists album to date and sees an artist so on it that he's written an essentially perfect album.

The Weights On The Wheels still dabbles in it's lo-fi past but producer, Michael Musmanno ups the ante here and produces a lo-fi hi-fi production that glistens with a pop sheen that makes the record shine like a diamond. Hart has grown into a fine songwriter over the last decade and you can hear this all over The Weights On The Wheels. Sounding something like the best Magnetic Fields records Stephen Merritt never recorded, The Russian Futurists still have that childlike sense of wonder and that lo-fi aesthetic but they cleverly disguise it through out the album. Gone are the shuffly broken beats assembled into shy songs that used to make up Hart's albums, they've now been replaced with up front songs that sound as if being a pop star was in The Russian Futurists destiny all along.

I really like the best of both worlds that The Russian Futurists have brought to the table here. The fact that Hart can make something much bigger still sound super cool and essentially intimate is a testament to his growth as an artist. His shamblolic lyrics and shyness coupled with a beat driven pop machine to back him up makes for fantastic pop and whether it's the upbeat and jumpy girl crazy, "Golden Years," the boy/girl trade offs of, "One Night, One Kiss," or the sampletastic wonder of the ironically titled, "Walk With A Crutch," The Weights On The Wheels never falters. A decade on and The Russian Futurists are still making indie pop that matters and nowadays that's pretty incredible. Here's to another ten more and another album as good as The Weights On The Wheels.

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