The Go! Team

The Scene Between

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After the promotional cycle for their Rolling Blackouts album ended, Go! Team guiding force Ian Parton called a band meeting. At the end of it, Parton was the only member of the team still in the band full-time. This return to the original way of working meant that Parton was back to being in total control and he also needed to find some new vocalists. Eschewing the high-profile cameos of the previous two albums, for The Scene Between Parton sought out and selected female vocalists he didn't know or hadn't heard before. He also put more focus into the songwriting and production than before, aiming to create a different feel and sound from track to track. It makes for a listening experience that is at once familiar and also pretty different. The hallmarks of the Go! Team sounds are mostly in place; the album doesn't lack for thundering beats, sunshiny samples, and layers of sound crashing brightly against one another. A little less clustered than the first two albums, a little fuzzier than Blackouts, the Scene Between succeeds in its aims. Going from track to track isn't exactly like flipping down a radio dial, but each song has a unique feel. And it's more like an album of songs than any previous one, with stuff like the ultra-sugary indie pop-inspired "Waking the Jetstream" and the bubbling shoegaze blast of "Blowtorch" sounding like they could be radio hits. The jangling girl group ballad "Did You Know?" and dream pop confection "Reason Left to Destroy" also have lots of stand-alone value. Parton doesn't totally leave the classic Go! Team sound behind, with "The Art of Getting By (Song for Heaven's Gate)" and the title track displaying lots of old-school swagger and a very G-Team way of sampling. These nods to the past are comforting and provide a base for the rest of the album, and the inclusion of short instrumental snippets is a nice touch that shows off Parton's sound-manipulating skills. What The Scene Between is, though, is a departure -- it's a pop album at its core and it works. There's a lightness to the sound that gives the record a fresh-faced and innocent feel; the vocalists Parton chose are all up to the task (and inspire the listener to seek out their other projects); and the songs have a brisk, joyful skip to their step that's impossible not to love. Especially if you're a fan of blown-out, slightly overloaded pop music, the kind that fills the speakers, ears, and hearts with warmth and happiness. Since Thunder, Lightning, Strike is an absolute classic, The Scene Between isn't the Go! Team's best, but it is an impressive new start that consolidates most of their strengths in a bright shiny ball and sends the band shooting off in a brilliant new-ish direction.

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