Personally, I love Matt & Kim – their poppy sound, vibrating instruments, quirky vocals, and always memorable jingles (2009’s “Daylight” and 2010’s “Cameras.”). They always know how to put their rhythms and rhymes in the right place. This year, they put out their fourth LP, Lightning, which is as always, is the same Matt & Kim. But being the same Matt & Kim also has a drawback. Predictable, dull, and overly similar, their music, although continually a lovely but foreseeable blend of noise pop and electronic, has neither diversified nor changed since their 2008 self-titled debut album. Of course, there are some great new songs to jam to: the sweet and bubbly “Let’s Go,” the vivacious “Now,” and their horn-induced “It’s Alright.” Unfortunately, those three songs are the only songs off Lightning that keep the album electric (pun intended). “Not That Bad” is a boring, monotonous tone; the repetitive electro fusion “Overexposed” doesn’t expose much; and “I Said,” a drum/piano ballad that takes forever. The rest of the album keeps a slow and steady pace, which doesn’t do much for Matt & Kim’s musical skillfulness and range.
Lightning is another Matt & Kim back-to-basics album, but offers no real spark of complexity or diversity. But for those Matt & Kim fans, including myself, who love a good alt-pop album to get the day going, Lightning is a good choice. But for people who haven’t even heard of Matt & Kim before, I prefer listening to their previous albums, 2006’s Matt and Kim, 2009’s Grand, and 2010’s Sidewalks, before Lightning.
Suggested Tracks: “Let’s Go,” “Now,” “It’s Alright”