Empire of the Sun – Two Vines (2016)

The third album by the Australian synth-pop duo is a  bit of a disappointment. That isn’t to suggest that it’s subpar, but mostly it’s a let down because it’s far too sophisticated for its genre. Mixing ambient synths with a soft 1970s disco background has always been the duo’s signature sound but here, the melodies are more mature than before while the vocals are layered with backing tracks, all of which conspire to dull the overall impact and sap any energy. As it is, the album is fine and consistent, but it’s not a lot of fun and there are more disposable songs than on their previous records, but highlights like “High and Low” and “Digital Life” are peppered throughout.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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