We Are Scientists – TV en Francais
The inexplicably titled TV en Français is, supposedly, the fourth studio LP from New York indie buds We Are Scientists (if we ignore 2002’s quirky, loveable bastard Safety, Fun, and Learning (In That Order)). The formula hit upon by With Love and Squalor, their 2005 breakout album, is maintained here: ruminations on romance and the human condition, delivered in tight parcels of riffy hooks, reassuring chord structures, and Keith Murray’s charged vocal.
Maybe the deadpan delivery is starting to grate, maybe the equation’s been exhausted, but TVeF is missing a spark. Yeah, the lead single Dumb Luck is carried by that scimitar riff, Sprinkles has a playful (almost Beach Boys) charm to it, and Return The Favour recalls the layered production of Brain Thrust Mastery’s Ghouls. But there’s not enough here to shake things up; even Barbara – their last record, and by no means their best – had more punch to it. [George Sully]