Serious Lover is as sensuous as its title suggests
Makes the whole thing sexier, for starters. Serious Lover is as sensuous as its title suggests, a lush electronic wash with a chorus that feels like an embrace. Face Melting is similarly sinuous, oozing virtuoso guitar squiggles around a jazz-pop melody that feels a little like 1980s pop classicists Prefab Sprout. Not that they were ever sexy. Makrigiannis's breathy, deep-pile croon is where they divert.
The 80s hang heavy over the whole record, the inevitable result when you're trying to build vistas of sound with synthesizers. The boinging keys of opener Olimpiyskiy recall a-ha, Perfect Estocada sounds like an off-cut from George Michael's Faith and the gargantuan closing track Does It Look As If I Care rolls huge Talk Talk piano through all this lovely R&B shimmer.
Makrigiannis's strength is clearly in soundscapes now, but he still has the tunes to bring them to life. Cloud Nine's chorus "Here comes another whirlpool" is the loveliest moment on the album by far, springing out of a relaxed groove, lovelorn and woozy, but everything comes together – rhythm, hook, melody – on crisp penultimate track Gamma Moth. That's where all Makrigiannis's influences and ambient dabblings melt away to leave a pure pop song, a fabulous destination with a bewitching journey behind it.
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