REVIEW: Roberts & Lord - Eponymous

Roberts & Lord - Eponymous

If your iPod-fried attention span is, like most people’s, having trouble committing to full-length albums these days, Roberts & Lord have tapped themselves firmly into the jugular of your zeitgeist and may even have found a solution. ‘Eponymous’, their debut album, is a swirling kaleidoscope of wacky sounds; squelching, tweeting, buzzing and throbbing its way through an analogue haze of psychedelic mischief. It caters for those with little patience by fidgeting with them through a montage of clashing elements - each track a new novelty. Roberts and Lord approach pop in the same way that Jamie Lidell approaches soul – with an eccentric imagination in the studio but enough personal style to glue the fragments together into a whole, breathing entity.

The obvious duality of human, Jack White-meets-John Lennon vocals set over a 21st Century computer soundscape creates a layer effect that reflects another modern phenomena - the strange synergy of man and technology. Like The Postal Service, Roberts & Lord create their tracks many miles away from each other through a string of mail – an unusual work process that shows in the synthesized kinship between voice and backing, as well as being yet another sign of the times.

‘Eponymous’ has clearly been a whole lot of fun to make and its only a matter of time before albums like this are criticised as ‘self-indulgent’ or branded as ‘bedroom music’. Roberts and Lord’s obvious defiance of this type of criticism, along with their brazen silliness, make it easy to chuckle along with them and assume their music is a joke at the expense of people who take music too seriously. However, I think their philosophy runs deeper - there’s something deliberately irrational about their freeform juxtapositions of bizarre ideas.The new age spiritual vibe the album ends on is the real clue - its a message to people like me - stop trying to rationalize everything and just listen.