With their 2010 debut Crooks & Lovers being a near perfect, small wonder of post-dubstep bliss, British electronic music duo Mount Kimbie tackle the difficult sophomore release with the usually dire move of "add more vocals," but the results aren't dire at all. Quite the contrary, the opening "Home Recording" is the wonderfully foggy, yet somehow crisp, experience offered on their debut with far-off vocals coming from Kimbie member Kai Campos, whose style here is somewhere between James Blake and Ben Gibbard without aping either. The lyrics are a bit more free-form than traditional singer/songwriter material, and when a horn section break in the middle offers a prickly and rewarding bridge, it's like a transmission from the Portishead side of trip-hop where modern composition, The Wire magazine, and all things artistic are held dear. Still, that approachable, connectable Kimbie are well represented with rock-solid hooks taking form out of shards of sampled music ("Blood and Form"), while familiar sounds from the past mix with the interesting off-world sounds of the future (the space hippie jam "So Many Times, So Many Ways" could either be from 1969 or 2069). Rapper King Krule fills "You Took Your Time" ("You up the ladder, made from the latter/Made even sadder being born to an adder") and "Meter, Pale, Tone" ("See me don't exist/What gwan?") with his odd words and weird delivery (he might actually be melting) and the dancing shoes come out twice, once for the broken beat, breakdancing industrial number "Slow" and once for "Made to Stray," which sounds like Detroit techno legend Derrick May dreaming about the Tokyo skyline in the night rain. Package it all together in an album that's sensibly sized and runs smooth as silk, and the evolving and growing Mount Kimbie remain a keeper.
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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries