Do It in the AM

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Following in the footsteps of Natalia Kills, '80s electro-pop revivalist Frankmusik is the latest struggling British act to gain an unlikely career reprieve by upping sticks to Los Angeles and signing with Interscope imprint Cherrytree Records. While this transatlantic deal may provide him with the mainstream breakthrough his 2009 debut, Complete Me, fully deserved, it's also unfortunately smoothed out all the rough edges that made him stand out from his nu-synth counterparts. Indeed, other than the robotic, Depeche Mode-esque "The Fear Inside," and the bouncy, futuristic electro of opener "We Collide," his sophomore album, Do It in the AM, shows very little evidence of his former self-described "Blade Runner pop" sound. Disappointingly, it's a much slicker but ultimately formulaic affair which appears to tick every current, chart-friendly sound going, from the Ryan Tedder-style ballad ("No Champagne," a duet with the aforementioned Kills), to the obligatory "having fun in the club" party anthem (the Far East Movement-featuring title track), to the Taio Cruz-esque repeat lyric, ad nauseum urban pop banger ("Blame It on Me"). It's not all bad news, though, as the showboating, falsetto vocals of its predecessor have wisely been toned down, while the summery R&B of "No I.D." and the shimmering acoustic disco-pop of "Brake Lights" provide a welcome respite from the identikit Red One and Guetta knock-offs, but these more inspired moments are few and far between. Frankmusik has claimed that he "didn't know what he was doing" on his first record, but considering it was a lot more edgier, charismatic, and inventive than this very ordinary follow-up, the phrase "ignorance is bliss" has never been more apt.

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