In a summer that’s been positively terrorised by tropical house and all its wayward buccaneers, a bright ombré album cover foregrounded by a little yacht doesn’t exactly fill us with a super amount of glee. But then Goldroom – aka LA-based producer Josh Legg – has always been the more tolerable of the sunny dance-pop ilk, as anyone who’s had a listen to his Embrace will confirm.
As expected, however, there’s nothing challenging on his first full-length, West of the West. But it is a record that’s immaculately produced, rolled in sunshine, and largely staves off any lapping waves of ennui through its gallop of 10 tracks.
Where Legg succeeds is, unsurprisingly, when he employs the indomitable Rooty to give him a hand on vocals. Back To You is a worthy second track, enough to grip and enthrall in a soul vocal that adds even more light to the glistening synth work (see also: Underwater); on the flip side, Lying To You veers over more indie terrain that feels familiar from the get-go. Of course, none of this is helped by trite lyrics that never go beyond the “can’t box up memories tonight” vibe.
Still, if you’re not tired of the beachside cocktail sound, there’s a lot in here to enjoy. Breaks is a more enjoyable take on the template, and essentially a microcosm of Goldroom as a whole: his is a sound that doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but he does buff and polish it so it sparkles even in the dullest light.