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A review of...
Brilliant Sanity by Teleman
Teleman's debut album Breakfast was a catchy blast of pop, a predominately guitar based record with just enough invention to distinguish it from their previous incarnation, Pete and The Pirates. Here, with their second effort Brilliant Sanity, they finally seem comfortable enough to break out of those chains of ventures past and make an album with a superior, confident sound. There's still the unmistakable vocal delivery from Tommy Sanders, but the backing is spruced up with keys/synthesiser hooks and melodies which suit the band equally, perhaps even more so, compared to previous efforts.
The important thing though, for any fan of this band, is that even with this evolution, they haven't lost their knack of writing supremely hummable pop songs. Songs which you'll find impossible to ditch from your head even after just one measly listen. It probably doesn't help (with the ditching) that many of these songs have already been played to saturation on 6music and other like minded radio stations, such is their wide ranging appeal.
Incidentally this album also represents the third album in a quite spectacular trio of releases from Moshi Moshi records who, even by their high standards, seem to have excelled themselves this March/April. Hot on the heels of Meilyr Jones and Kiran Leonard, with the promise of The Wave Pictures' new album in the autumn, it's surely a vintage year for the label.
But back to Brilliant Sanity, and although the songs sound breezy and carefree you can tell that they've been meticulously pieced together for maximum impact. These are songs that rarely stray over the four minute mark (in traditional hit factory fashion), as if they've been cut right down to the bare minimum. It's interesting then, that Teleman freely admit that the songs were arranged with the aid of an office whiteboard. Hardly the rock 'n' roll process we've come to expect over the years, but one that undeniably suits this rather clinical band. There's no over the top posturing here, these are simple songs which rely on restraint, an electro hook or two, and generally flawless song-writing. Teleman are on the up.
"Fall In Time" - an uncharacteristically downbeat piano intro paves way for a gradually,more joyous outro and a fabulously scuzzy one note guitar solo.
"Melrose" - whilst Brilliant Sanity utilises electronic instruments with abandon, here they seem to have gone full on electro, and the old rock staples are hardly noticeable/non-existent. It sounds great too.