During the height of the pandemic past times like walking round your garden – if you were lucky enough to have one – became a national fixation in Britain, such was the inertia that lock downs and the unknown brought. For Joe Mount the experience of bringing up two young children whilst in the midst of those extraordinary times was in part at least the inspiration for Small World, a record about inner conflict as much as exterior coping.
Now essentially a Mount solo project with a live band, whatever configuration Metronomy has been arguably peaked on 2011’s The English Riviera, whilst last outing Metronomy Forever was a mixed bag of both inspiration and ideas that should’ve remained ideas. In this time running with a simpler premise and musically reprising the AOR end of 80’s and 90’s indie pop there are wisely fewer moving parts to go wrong.
What that means is an odd cocktail of moods – not that a Metronomy album ever serves up much less – that has some peaks troughs and a fair amount of nuance. Jaunty single It’s Good To Be Back clatters with DIY funk, whilst the soulful Things Will Be Fine deals with telling white lies to those who won’t understand. It wouldn’t be Joe however without something conceptually out there, Love Factory’s twinkling keys obscuring what is surely his definitive curio, a track about the last couple on earth facing up to the threat of extinction. Small World both hits and misses, but then again that’s probably the point.
You can read a full review here.