I really wanted to dislike this album. I had dismissed Elly Jackson and Ben Langmaid (yep, I had to look up his name, but that seems to be the way they both prefer it) as try-hard bandwagon-jumpers, riding the wave of 80s inspired pop indiscriminately to the top of the charts, making mugs of the general public.

But there’s a surprising amount of depth present in their debut, aside from the three giant singles Quicksand, In For The Kill and Bulletproof (admittedly the three catchiest and most memorable tracks on the album).

But the standout song is the slow-burning As If By Magic, where Jackson sings in a couple of keys lower than the ear-bleeding usual. The layered vocals in the chorus are easily the best bit of the record, and it’s a shame the track dies out so quietly.

It’s not all good though. Fascination is about 1/1000th as good as the track of the same name by Alphabeat, Tigerlily’s spoken male vocal is horribly misjudged, and the closing two tracks are simply dull.

But all in all there’s enough here to suggest Jackson and Langmaid may be a pair worth keeping an eye on. It will certainly be interesting to see how the Caribbean steel drums on the next single I’m Not Your Toy goes down with record-buyers.

This review was originally published on The Music Magazine.

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