Elefant

The Black Magic Show

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On their second album, The Black Magic Show, Elefant strut a bit more. They have grown up somewhat since the 2003 release of Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid, for Elefant's sound comes off as more realized and more relaxed. Waiting three years in between albums seemed to work for them in the sense that the New York City foursome can easily find a place among the new wave-inspired acts of the new millennium -- the Killers, Franz Ferdinand, She Wants Revenge, and Bloc Party -- without being considered as another copycat band. Producer Don Gilmore (Linkin Park, Duran Duran, Avril Lavigne) highlights the elasticity of the band's melodies while zeroing in on vocalist Diego Garcia's atmospheric delivery. Garcia doesn't offer too much too soon, unlike his performance on Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid, but let's attribute that to first-album jitters. While this album doesn't do anything drastic on an artistic level, The Black Magic Show does feature some danceable style. From the glam rock flair of "The Lunatic" and "Sirens" to the cinematic despair of "The Clown," The Black Magic Show is a decent move forward for Elefant. A little more sincerity and a little less swagger might have been nice, though. [The limited-edition version includes additional audio tracks and videos.]

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