Gentlemen of Leisure

Gentlemen of Leisure

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It seems like these fellows might have had a better chance of getting noticed 15 to 20 years prior to the release of this 2001 album. Still, as '80s-sounding synth pop goes, this is respectable, primarily because the quirky, sometimes jittery songs are fairly tuneful. While the production is electro-mechanistic, it's minimal enough (perhaps because only Karl Heinz plays any instruments or does any programming) that it's not overbearing. They sing effectively as well, in high voices that bear some influence from soul and disco music, and also (at the foggiest, as on "Antidote") sound something like Robert Wyatt, though the material is quite far from what Wyatt has recorded. Like their name, and indeed the sleeve art of men in suits and sunglasses on the move in fancy cars and airports, the songs reflect a carefree, chic lifestyle, as in their wistful wishes to be a "Boy Toy" (which is actually one of the best songs). It might not be terribly original, but it's not obnoxious, and you could do a lot worse if you want a downmarket Human League or some such equivalent.

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