Polyvinyl Records; August 2007
Filled with electro starts and stops, island-tinged rhythms, and calypso-inspired steel pan beats, Architecture in Helsinki’s Places Like This is as brilliantly nonsensical as any fan could hope it to be. The follow-up to 2005’s In Case We Die carries with it the same quirky playfulness of its predecessor, but the influences this time around are a bit farther reaching. Vocalist Cameron Bird simultaneously channels Isaac Brock and the B-52’s Fred Schneider on tracks like “Heart It Races” and “Feather in a Baseball Cap,” while the avant-garde “Like It or Not” builds from a series of dissonant “wah wahs” to a frenetic, jovial noise fest. The end product is a fantastic mix of cross-cultural sounds, clamoring instrumentation, and well-placed synth that’s as exciting to listen to as it is fun.