Joe Goddard loves dance music. That’s not a reductive or patronising statement – what we mean is that Electric Lines communicates this fact even more than his previous stints with both Hot Chip and The 2 Bears. This is a love letter that spans the course of history. and it’s done with the most enjoyable flourishes.
Goddard is helped in no small part by the degree of familiarity he brings to his party. You’ll be convinced you’ve heard the beats of Lose Your Love before, only to ultimately forget again as you resign yourself to dance to the NYC disco brilliance. And while old-school samples play a part in songs like Home, Goddard envelopes them in such a new degree of warmth that it’s like a light defibrillator for a forgotten genre. And hello again Daniel Wilson, the ideal foil for such a thing.
If that all sounds a bit Radio 2, it certainly isn’t. The deft employment of our old pal SLO on songs like Ordinary Madness (R&B track of the year, just FYI) and Music Is The Answer deliver effortless cool of an international standard that only someone of Goddard’s pedigree can deliver.
But this is an album with a clear trajectory through history – mainly Goddard’s own. If that first third is soulful homage, the mid-section is all industrial instrumental starting with Lasers. And fans of Hot Chip can take themselves to the closing chapter, with the small matter of Alexis Taylor popping up on the title track and more. Arguably Goddard is more successful with some eras more than others, but there’s no denying the rich and colourful tapestry in this museum of Electric Lines. Take a snort – there’s no comedown at all.