TG Mauss

Gravity Will Keep Us All Together

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TG Mauss' second solo album is a brisk, fun enough little effort that breaks absolutely no new ground but still makes for a fine statement of purpose -- namely, that stripped-down new wave-influenced pop will never die, it'll just have its constituent elements played around with a bit here and there. That Mauss has grown up in a newer era can be heard at various points in the arrangements and production -- for instance, the compressed synth crunch on songs like the thoroughly great "Multiple Face" has a simultaneously blunt and playful kick thanks to the on-point editing that earlier decades aspired to but didn't always fully catch. But Gravity Will Keep Us Together is for the most part a fairly faithful re-creation of a never-never era where Devo, the dB's, D.A.F. and Depeche Mode all were being added to someone's mixtape somewhere in the world for a summer road trip. (And to his credit it's never quite so sticky-sweet as to be just the Postal Service redux, which deserves credit in and of itself.) Mauss' delivery is an amusing mix of the slightly sleazy and the understatedly cool, perfect for the robot punch of so many of the songs -- "Wanna Be" is a classic instance, his half-sneer/half-yearning approach nicely contrasting the mercilessly stiff riff. At its busiest, the album shows Mauss has a good ear for transforming the supposedly "simple" nature of synth pop into a chaotically entertaining swirl -- consider the instrumental break on "Take You Down" as a good example. Meanwhile, the occasional out-of-nowhere moment doesn't hurt either, as the guitar twang on "Wait, It's Me!" demonstrates. Though admittedly it's a bit of a pity to hear the beats on "Print Screen" when they just don't have the full-bodied slam of its obvious role model, Toni Basil's "Mickey" -- but one can't have everything in life.

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