At Swim Two Birds (Plant Music)
After six years of collaborating, New York vocalist/guitarist/ Plant Music label co-head Dominique Keegan and Berlin beat/sample whiz Glen Brady (aka DJ Wool) have finally pulled off a full-length album under the moniker The Glass. Harnessing the current popularity of throwback-synth-pop duos like Chromeo and MGMT, Keegan and Brady deliver a dance-rock album that is more electro-driven than their earlier work, putting more emphasis on dance than rock. Most of the album plays in comfortable (maybe a little too comfortable) 4/4 time. Oscillating, glitch-laden keyboard-chord progressions and funk-heavy digital bass lines feed into the notion that The Glass has moved completely away from dark, brooding, guitar-friendly bedroom-electro experimentation and fully embraced the accessibility of Pet Shop Boys-styled disco beats and jingle-jangly string interludes. Singer Keegan remains in mellow crooner mode throughout the album — to odd effect. The hypnotic trance-rave qualities of “Atmosphere” call for his whispery vocals, but when he sings “I want to break this world in two, or maybe just another night with you” on the track “Heavy Disco,” you can almost feel him rolling his eyes. While the album is nightclub-remix-ready, it feels largely distant and impersonal for a debut full-length outing. The world doesn’t need another “Safety Dance,” which is basically the sound that The Glass is trying to sell here.
— Rob DeWalt