The Knocks, by all counts, ought to make a lot of pop acts nervous. Not that we’re new to producers or production outfits making albums, but in the banal world of Calvin Harris and Rudimental, this duo stand out in a much more mainstream pop realm. If anything, then, they sort of beg the question: who are the real stars of all the pop albums we listen to? Or, more to the point, what if we started having Max Martin or Ariel Rechtshaid albums instead?
That’s not to say The Knocks don’t fall to some of the same woes on 55. Most of the tracks without a feature – Time and They Key – not only prove how important symbiosis is for them, but also how adept they are at both finding the right acts to work with and getting the best out of them. Classic is a fine example of laid-back summery synth-pop, while the Wyclef-featuring Kiss The Sky sees the man presented in a way that’s entirely new but wholly comfortable.
As far as being an advert for what The Knocks can do, 55 is a pretty tremendous one. Hooks abound in songs like Comfortable and choruses soar throughout, with Collect My Love and Love Me Like That being highlights that span the spectrum of pop. It’s glossy, it’s fun, it’s not ground-breaking but it’s certainly worth returning to; basically, if you want 55 ways to write a banger, The Knocks are your guys.