Fight Softly (Dig)
2010 album from the dreamy New Zealand band. Fight Softly sees their Psychedelic Pop filtered through perfectly weird influences from New Jack Swing to Euro House. The album retains the super melodic songwriting of the first two records but displays a new electronic direction. Leader Ryan McPhun cites as equal influences '80s/'90s New Jack Swing and modern Angolan kuduro, Fleetwood Mac and Britney Spears, Brazilian tropicalia and Argentinean cumbia. Fight Softly was recorded in Seattle, Hungary and New Zealand.
By contrast, Fight Softly is a solo effort, not a band effort. This crucial difference means there are no other musicians, and therefore hardly any instruments at all. Instead, Ryan has made the exact same mistake as Animal Collective: using corny synths and beats, when he should have sticked to the psychedelic pop he mastered so brilliantly. What makes it all the more annoying, is that there are more than a few glimpses of the origianl spirit of the Ruby Runs under the thick coat of plastic sounds, which remind what a great project this used to be, and leave you to conclude that the ideas are still there, while the artisitic direction isn't.
This is arguably my biggest musical disappointment of the year.