‘The Knocks’, are a relatively new techno act, but having remixed a number of tracks for various labels in recent years, are quickly building a reputation for themselves. Accordingly, this March 4th they released their first studio album and brought with them an impressive list of cameos.
If ‘The Knocks’ premiere LP, 55, can be described in one word, it would be ‘pleasant’. 55 doesn’t require any strenuous attention, but rather, suits itself to a lazy, feel-good afternoon. The act doesn’t exert themselves to lyricism in their songwriting, and it is very clear from the beginning that their focus is on a chilled out musical backdrop. Not atypical for a techno act, one might suggest, the remarkable aspect to 55 is the shrewd decision to call in a variety of writers to add their own flavour to the upbeat and alluring musical backdrop. The result is an album that features everything from spoken word poetry to lyricism becoming of an indie act. Likewise, rather impressively for any act’s first album, ‘The Knocks’ bring in several heavy hitters, including Common, Wyclef Jean and Fetty Wap.
55 is a pleasurable album from a band that seem to make cheery, danceable music the predominant focus of their art. However, with this in mind, if the duo can be negated for any particular reason, it’s that some of the songs on the album feel quite samey. This is by no means a sign of laziness from the duo, as the trajectory of the album comes off somewhat like a wave, hitting a crescent, falling and building back up again several times throughout. Likewise, each song is credible and enjoyable in its own right. However, in the album as a whole something seems missing and leaves the album feeling quite samey. Perhaps this merely lies in the album’s relentless positivity.
Written by Chris O’Regan