Love Box

Price: $18.59

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as of 12/01/2020 (Details)

Tom Findlay and Andy Cato have steadily been dismantling their chill-out crown ever since the single "At the River" floated them into coffee-table ubiquity. Love Box finally stretches the duo's eclectic tastes beyond any semblance of continuity or restraint, finishing the job started on last year's Goodbye Country (Hello Nightclub). Named after Groove Armada's bimonthly London club night, the duo's fourth album captures the excitement and diversity of pace you would expect from a masterful DJ set. While the opening track, "Purple Haze," doesn't have a sniff of Hendrix's majestic histrionics, it is certainly Groove Armada's most rock & roll moment to date. Neneh Cherry lends her sultry voice to the lusty funk-fuelled hip-hop of "Groove Is On" and the urban soul of "Think Twice," and "Remember," with its languorous beat and swirling effects, nods toward their downbeat prime. Feisty dance-floor shakers are here in force, though. "Madder," mixing the raps of MC M.A.D. with a pulsating bass and itchy guitar hook, kicks hard, and "The Final Shakedown" is an undiluted house anthem, albeit with a feisty ragga vocal. But one of the most surprising tracks is the rich, soul-drenched sophistication of "Hands of Time," a gorgeous reflection on love lost featuring the spine-tingling voice of Woodstock folk legend Richie Havens. Love Box is a disarmingly eclectic album, its infectious, maverick, party spirit defying preconceptions. --Christopher Barrett

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