Kindness

World, You Need a Change of Mind

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On "Bombastic," a track near the end of his debut album World, You Need a Change of Mind, Kindness main man Adam Bainbridge spends a bit of time listing off his influences. He probably didn't need to because the sound and feel of his inspirations bleeds through almost every minute of the album. World is made up of DNA derived from (to name a few) the slinky disco of Larry Levan, the skittering funk of Prince, the weird bedroom pop of Todd Rundgren, the sophisticated groove of Nile Rodgers, and above all, the hedonistic grace of Arthur Russell. Working with legendary producer Philip Zdar (of Cassius), Bainbridge is able to skirt past charges of being an imitator by imbuing his idol worship with enough imagination and emotion to make World, You Need a Change of Mind into a sparkling hybrid of old and new dance music. The record includes previously released singles that sparked a lot of interest in the band -- hearing them again it's easy to see why. The subdued electro-pop cover of the Replacements' "Swingin' Party" is an inspired take that invests the original with a new layer of modern melancholy, "Gee Up" is a short blast of strutting, funky dance rock that Prince would surely recognize, and "Cyan" is pulsating neo-disco that would slot in well next to LCD Soundsystem on a mix. The rest of the album is just as impressive. Bainbridge is skilled at creating and sustaining moods over the course of a track; usually it's a kind of downbeat, driving-through-the-rainy-city-streets-at-night feeling that is well-served by his warm and heavily over-dubbed vocals. Occasionally, as on the smile-inducing "That's Alright," or the sweet cover of Anita Dobson's "Anyone Can Fall in Love" (the theme to East Enders, of all things), he aims for something a little lighter, but mostly it's a downer dance party he's throwing here. A really good downer dance party! Thanks to Zdar's sure-handed co-production, Bainbridge's skills at synthesizing the past and present, and a batch of songs that really stick to you after a couple listens, World, You Need a Change of Mind ends up being a very pleasing, very interesting record.

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