Beat Connection - The Palace Garden
- By Jonny Heffron -
- Aug 10, 2012
Chances are, US quartet Beat Connection were not inspired by the climates of England in the last couple of months; borrowing from the likes of Foster the People and The Friendly Fires, these Seattle electro-boppers appear to be everything British summers are not - light, warm and most prevalently, pleasant.
The album opens as you would expect from such an optimistic sounding band whereby cheerful synths fill the air, creating a perfect entrance into this sunshine-infused world. Title track, ‘Palace Garden 4 A.M’ bursts out from this mellow introduction with its tropical tinges and infectious melodies; I’m starting to feel warmer already…
Despite being moderately chirpier, I get pretty bored pretty quickly and actually completely miss the next two tracks without even realising. Fortunately, ‘Invisible Cities’ awakes me from my slumber and is easily the standout track on the album; the use of a solid beat gives tracks a great foundation and allows a much greater deal of depth. Such a redeeming quality serves only to frustrate me though as the majority of tracks lack this structured feel making the whole thing feel a bit messy.
It takes me a while to realise what’s missing on this album; the vocals (when present) are enjoyable and some of the more minimalist tracks such as eighties inspired ‘Think Feel’ are really quite good. As hard as it might be to believe however, The Palace Garden lacked the sense of playfulness I was anticipating from an upbeat indie-pop group. I kind of got the impression that Beat Connection take themselves too seriously which means the group lack one of the main ingredients of successful indie-pop; fun.
On top of this, Beat Connection’s love for the synthesiser really puts the nail in the coffin for this album. I honestly think there is about five synth-less minutes on this whole album - at one point I could have sworn I was stuck in the OST for 'Drive'.
Tracks continued to play on unnoticed with repeated listens and by the time I had reached the surprisingly decent closing track, ‘En Route’ it was too little, too late. The Palace Garden came and went in the blink of an eye…looks like they may have took inspiration from our summer after all!
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