London based Danes Alphabeat are hoping to work “The Spell” you. Having taking a couple of years out after their incessant 80s styled indie pop debut This Is Alphabeat, the group are back on the road in support of their 90s house flavoured second album The Beat Is… Having switched a Spice Girls support slot for that of a Lady Gaga one, the sextet are guaranteed maximum exposure for the record but can their record do enough to stand out in the new swathe of 90s influenced albums?
Without wasting anytime, Alphabeat prove that they mean business of lead single and album opener “The Spell”. They may have ditched their trendy indie vibe for pure pop, but they certainly know how to write a credible catchy single. In other hands “The Spell” could have fallen into the annoying summer song, but their slick delivery lifts “The Spell” out of the murky territory. The same can’t be said of “Hole In My Heart”. Clearly taking it’s lead from Snap’s “Rhythm Is A Dancer”, Alphabeat move into the house anthem and away from their consistent pop base. Stine’s vocal is more than capable of holding it’s ground, but even Kelly Llorenna could do more with this.
Just a shade of it’s predecessor.
Unsure as to which musical box they wish to tick, Alphabeat continue along the uneven path. There are some guaranteed singles — dancefloor smash “DJ”, Europop “Q&A” and the euphoric “365 Degrees”. But for every hit, there is a flop – from the comical “Chess” to the screechy “Til I Get Round”.
This Is Alphabeat proved the sextet to be a musically competent pop project who offered a credible, yet fun alternative to the over produced teenstars. To a degree The Beat Is… tries to continue in a similar vein just switching its period of influence. Stine is still an enticing vocalist, but the material is often lacking. Often missing the nail, The Beat Is… is just a shade of it’s predecessor.