Men Without Hats

No Hats Beyond This Point

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The last Men Without Hats album came out 12 years previously and the hiatus must not have been long enough. The red-line slash icon and the tinker-toy sounding synths are back, but the wry songwriting and catchy melodies of the early days are gone. It's hard not to cringe when main man Ivan Doroschuk delivers such sophomoric lyrics so sternly. The excess of social commentary is simplistic and filled with clich├ęs, and updating the Buggles' shining moment for the "Internet killed the video star" hook of "Telepathy" is the album's only clever moment. Musically, No Hats Beyond This Point features such juvenile instrumental backing and insipid melodies that it's about as satisfying as a Super Nintendo soundtrack. Fans who could once argue that the band had more to offer than "Safety Dance" will find it harder to defend their position than ever. Doroschuk's impressive artwork that fills the booklet suggests a more suitable creative outlet.

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