Architecture In Helsinki – Places Like This (8.2.07)

Posted on July 28, 2008


Popping up like that goofy “Iko Iko” song in Rain Man, Places Like This is like accidentally returning to a time when you didn’t know who the bands were on the radio, you had no clue what the difference was between new wave and Debbie Gibson, and all of music seemed like one big birthday cake. Like when I was 6. In the arena of ’80s style-mining, instead of erring toward panicking electro-punk that hardly ever happened in the first place, Architecture in Helsinki goes for the golden touch of laid-back cowbell-and-synth Ray-Ban dance bands. Like, dudes in wrinkled pastel button-up shirts with the collars popped chillin’ to Paul Simon records. And that actually ends up being pretty great! They blatantly bite on other artists on pretty much every single song, but you know what? I can deal. Like the Cliffs Notes for 20 years of Casey Kasem, they leave out all the undesirables. “Nothing’s Wrong” flips an Afro-beat first verse into a crazy, heartfelt disco Bangles thing. And, no, I would not have made that up if it weren’t absolutely true. They might not have meant to, but oddly enough, AIH has improved on everything they ganked off the Tom Tom Club.

[Originally published in The Weekly Dig 8.2.07]